The last 20 years have arguably seen the most rapid transformation to our social health in the history of humankind. We must take a collective deep breath and evaluate the impact of these socially disruptive changes, such as: excessive social media use, decreased organizational memberships, fewer and delayed marriage/partnership, increased working from home, unemployment, a surging senior population, limited outside play and experiences with nature, and reduced time to build meaningful relationships. Each of these drivers impact feelings of community and belonging, sense of individual purpose, and reciprocal intimacy in harmful ways. As naturally social beings, humans may find the impact of these drivers devastating; in turn, increasing loneliness, stress, and physical and emotional outcomes. We must pause now and plan our future to maximize these feelings of community, sense of purpose, and overall intimacy.
Loneliness is one of, but not the only, cause of such devastating outcomes as: suicide, substance abuse, and major depressive disorder. Imagine if reducing loneliness could reduce the striking costs, both societally and individually, of these and other consequences.
Suicide Costs The Us Approximately $51 Billion Annually. (CDC Estimates For Treatment And Productivity)
Substance Abuse Costs The Us Approximately $700 Billion Annually. (NIDA)
Major Depressive Disorder, Suicide, And Addiction Cost The Us Approximately $960 Billion Annually. (CDC, NIMH)