The World Health organisation (WHO) has announced a new three year commission that will look into the issues of social isolation and loneliness around the world. WHO believes it is an underserved problem that affects people all over the world, regardless of region and regardless of income. The commission will bring together experts from all over the world, produce reports on the issue and look for solutions that can build social connections in communities at scale.
The commission is set to be co-chaired by the US Surgeon General, Dr Vivek Murthyt and the African Union Youth Envoy, Chido Mpemba. They chair a commission of 11 leading policy makers, thought leaders and advocates in the space of social isolation and loneliness. The Director General of WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said:
“High rates of social isolation and loneliness around the world have serious consequences for health and well-being. People without enough strong social connections are at higher risk of stroke, anxiety, dementia, depression, suicide and more. This WHO Commission will help establish social connection as a global health priority and share the most promising interventions.”
The first meeting of the new commission will be held as early as next month on the 6th to 8th of December – with its first report on the issue to be released in a year and a half into its three year assignment. U.S Surgeon General said:
“I am thrilled to work closely with an outstanding group of Commissioners on advancing social connection – a vital component of well-being. Together, we can build a world that is less lonely, healthier, and more resilient. Given the profound health and societal consequences of loneliness and isolation, we have an obligation to make the same investments in rebuilding the social fabric of society that we have made in addressing other global health concerns, such as tobacco use, obesity, and the addiction crisis.“
We see here every day at Social Discoververy Insights the issues around loneliness and social isolation, but we also get to see just how many amazing solutions, start-ups, companies, and ultimately, people there are out there – looking to combat this problem in their own communities and around the world. We heartily support the importance and seriousness in which WHO is putting on an issue that is too easily overlooked.