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The Surgeon General’s Advisory on Social Connection

In a new Surgeon General’s Advisory, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy warns about the public health crisis that loneliness, isolation, and disconnection pose to the American public. Disconnection fundamentally affects our mental, physical, and societal health. In fact, loneliness and isolation increase the risk for individuals to develop mental health challenges in their lives, and lacking connection can increase the risk for premature death as much as smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day.Strengthening the social fabric of our communities is essential in order to improve the health of people and communities and must be a national priority. Addressing loneliness is as vital to protecting our health as addressing obesity, tobacco, or addiction.

The Surgeon General’s Advisory lays out lays out a National Strategy to Advance Social Connection, which has never been done before in the United States. It includes six pillars detailing recommendations that individuals, governments, workplaces, health systems, and community organizations can take to increase connection in their lives, communities, and across the country. By strengthening our relationships, increasing connection, and rebuilding the social fabric of our nation, we can improve the health of people across the country.

Learn more about the Surgeon General’s priorities here.

In her keynote address during the 2023 engAGED and Commit to Connect Social Engagement Virtual Summit, Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad provides insights on the Surgeon General’s Advisory. Watch here.

Funding for this initiative was made possible by contract no. HHSP233201500088I from ACL.  The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

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