Loneliness is a public health issue. It was before the COVID-19 epidemic forced us into social isolation. Former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy called loneliness a “growing health epidemic,” and even wrote a book about it – Together: Why Social Connection Holds the Key to Better Health, Higher Performance, and Greater Happiness.
In the United Kingdom they take this issue very seriously and now have a Minister of Loneliness. Sophie Andrews started an organization called The Silver Line which is a helpline for lonely and isolated seniors.
Does loneliness impact those with chronic illness and/or disability more than the general population? Curious to know how you rate on the Loneliness Scale or maybe you’d like to take a quick quiz for a less robust assessment.
In this podcast episode we explore that question as well as the antidotes for loneliness. In this presentation for the University of Utah’s Program for Inherited Neuromuscular Disorders, I discuss how I’ve handled social isolation during the pandemic.
Although geared toward an older audience, Humana has a toolkit full of ideas on how to combat loneliness.
This podcast episode is about Loneliness. My interest in this topic was sparked a year ago when I heard a British woman – Sophie Andrews – speak at an event I attended. She had already done a TED Talk two years earlier. Her story is a captivating one, which I won’t go into now; you can check out her 15-miin video online. But due to her early life experiences, she learned how a listening ear can change someone’s life direction. She founded an organization called The Silver Line which is a helpline for lonely and isolated seniors.
In Sophie’s talk – as well as in subsequent articles and books that have been written – we learn how loneliness is of epidemic proportion. Research studies have found that loneliness and social isolation is often correlated to high mortality rates and deterioration of both physical and mental health. In the UK the concern about this public health issue has launched a new government position – the Minister of Loneliness. Seriously. In 2018, Tracey Crouch became the world’s first person to assume this role.