A program of multicultural and intergenerational events for the purpose of sharing cultural traditions, reducing social isolation, and building/enhancing a network of friendship among residents of local neighborhoods in the Fort Myers area. The events will occur approximately four to six times per year and consist of an evening of local community presentations, a shared meal prepared by a local group, and facilitated small group discussions. The focus of the discussions is to find common ground in universal themes that affect the lives of everyone and are the basis of family and cultural legacy.
Social integration, the opposite of social isolation, has been found to be generally beneficial to health across adulthood into old age. Social integration is most often defined as participation in a broad range of social relationships and activities.
Individuals who actively engage in meaningful roles (such as friend, volunteer, church member, parent) are less likely to experience mental illness, such as depression, are less likely to develop health problems and more likely to practice good health habits and appropriate self-care during recovery, and are less likely to die than those who are less actively engaged. Some controversy remains over whether social integration itself promotes good mental and physical health or whether good mental and physical health encourages better social integration.