Social support refers to help received from others with whom one has social relationships. Several distinctions may be drawn about the sources of social support and the benefits derived. Firstly, social support might protect health by moderating the effects of work situations: integration into a work group might reduce feelings of alienation in a routine job; information sharing might facilitate problem solving and reduce stress on a time-pressed project. Secondly, support might moderate the health effects by increasing workers’ capacity to adapt in the following ways: participating with others in leisure time activities may reduce feelings of stress; discussing problems with others might facilitate access to appropriate healthcare. Distinctions can also be drawn about the type of benefit—emotional,instrumental, appraisal, and informational—to be derived.Finally, distinctions can be made about the nature of social support relationships (ie are the ties close or intimate? do they exist between equals?).
Social Support plays an important role in mental health, disaster situation- Humanitarian aid-related problems, Stigma associated disease conditions.
Source: Muntaner, C., Benach, J., Hadden, W C., Gimeno, D., Benavides, F, G., A glossary for the social epidemiology of work organisation: Part 1, Terms from social psychology, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 2006;60:914–916.