It all starts with hello
The simple act of saying "hello" to a person, whether you know them or not, could often be the beginning of a very positive social interaction.
Depending on the kind of day your interlocutor is having, it could lift their spirits, particularly if it leads to further conversation.
Day-to-day concerns often weigh us down, impacting on our mental health and wellbeing. So that fact that someone cares enough to say "hello" and have a chat could end up putting a smile on your face.
That's the idea behind a new campaign launched this week in the Latrobe Valley. The Hello Campaign, that reminds us all of the importance of social connections, is the work of Lifeline Gippsland and We Are Latrobe.
Over the next six weeks, a series of pop-up chat cafes across the Valley will provide people with a friendly space to connect with each other. They will be at cafes, community centres and in public spaces.
“Hello is about getting back to that basic, natural human interaction," according to Latrobe Health Assembly board member Jonathan Armstrong.
"It’s about acknowledging each other, taking time for each other, learning each other’s names and simply saying ‘hello’.
“Our social connections include people we know; the friends we confide in, the family we belong to and the wider Latrobe Valley community we live in," Jonathan said.