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How Someone with a Disability Can Make Friends

This week it’s Mental Health Week. Did you know that 1 in 5 Australians are affected by a mental illness of some sort. In any one year, around 1 million Australian adults have depression, and over 2 million have anxiety. Why we get depressed or anxious stems down to many reasons, however one of the most common is that feeling of being alone and not having that support network that you need.

Last month SACARE’s Briarholm resident Alice, shared a blog post about the things that made her happy, and her advice was:

“To anyone who is feeling a bit down, to talk to your friends and family, they are always there for you.”

However, what if you’re in a situation where you don’t feel like you have the right friends or support group to talk to? The world is a big place, and there are guaranteed to be people out there for you. You just need to reach out and get out.

Here Alice, someone with a severe disability who cannot walk or talk shares her top tips on how she makes friends.


How Someone with a Disability Can Make Friends

  1. I made my friends just by being myself. My disability does not define who I am and because I feel confident in my own skin, I’m not afraid to express my personality.
  2. I am brave and say ‘hi’ to everyone. I always initiate the conversation if someone doesn’t say anything to me. I may not be able to talk, but I can communicate with Siri’s help and through noises I make with my mouth.
  3. Back in primary school and high school I learned that only the smart and the brave people wanted to be my friend. So, be brave and don’t be afraid to say hi!
  4. It can be difficult to make friends if you appear to be different in school, so I would say to anyone who is a child or teenager at high school that I promise you it will get better and one day you will get to meet your friends.
  5. It’s important to keep in touch with your friends and try to catch up as often as you can.
  6. I would say that the best way to make friends when you are an adult is by going out to events and meet ups, like quiz nights, and movies. There are so many things going on within your community. You just have to search for it. For example, when you’re food shopping, check out what’s on notice boards, or join groups on, and see what Facebook events are going on near you.
  7. The best thing to do is just to be willing to go out of your way to be friends with the people that are there for you.
  8. The carers and support workers at SACARE are very helpful and willing to provide a friendly environment for the people that live at Briarholm House in Kingswood.
  9. Go to your family events and enjoy the happy fun-family-friendly vibe!
  10. However, the most important point of all that you need to consider when wanting to make new friends, is to just be nice to everyone that you meet.

At SACARE, everyone is welcome, including our four legged friends! Our philosophy is that every individual should have access to accommodation that can help them be free to be themselves and to achieve their personal goals and live a life of independence that suits them. You can read more about Alice’s home by clicking, this link:


The Mental Health Coalition of South Australia is the peak body for the non-government mental health sector in South Australia. You can read more about it here:



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