WASHINGTON, June 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Foundation for Social Connection, a non-profit dedicated to ensuring the development of evidence-based solutions for a socially engaged society, and Social Health Labs, a social impact organization founded to facilitate innovation in the social health space, officially announced the launch of Connect+Conversations, an interactive thought leadership series designed to collaboratively answer: How do we make society less lonely?
"Loneliness is one of the most widespread, urgent public health crises of our time," said Social Health Labs Founder Kasley Killam, MPH. "Research has shown that it affects some two-thirds of the US population, costs Medicare $6.7 billion each year, and can shorten people's lives drastically. We believe that every individual, organization, and sector has a role to play in improving social health: the dimension of well-being that comes from connection and community."
Connect+Conversations will explore how to address the loneliness epidemic and promote social health by convening researchers, community leaders, and anyone committed to a more connected society. It is supported by Commit to Connect, a national initiative of the US Department of Health & Human Services Administration for Community Living and AARP Foundation.
"Our goal is to catalyze a movement for social change," said Edward Garcia, MHS, Founder and Executive Director of the Foundation for Social Connection. "By engaging a broad coalition of thought leaders and innovators across all levels of impact, we are hoping to inspire a global dialogue and action to reconnect society."
The first event in the series, Connect+Health, taking place on June 23 at 2pm ET, will explore the science of how social connection and loneliness influence health and will feature:
Kelli Harding, MD, MPH: Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University and author of "The Rabbit Effect: Live Longer, Happier, and Healthier with the Groundbreaking Science of Kindness"
Louise Hawkley, PhD: Principal Research Scientist at NORC at the University of Chicago and leading researcher on the long-term health effects of social isolation and loneliness
Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD: Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Brigham Young University and leading researcher on the long-term health effects of social connection
Marc Schulz, PhD: Professor of Psychology at Bryn Mawr College, Associate Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, and Senior Advisor for the Lifespan Research Foundation
Future events will explore this topic through the lens of different sectors, including government, cities, schools, healthcare, workplaces, technology, and—most importantly—you. These events are free and open to people of all ages, backgrounds, and geographic locations. Learn more here and register for the first event here.
The Foundation for Social Connection's (F4SC) vision is for all Americans to have the opportunities and evidence-based support necessary to be socially engaged in society. F4SC engages in education, increases public awareness, promotes innovative research, and spurs the development and implementation of evidence-based models that address social isolation/loneliness and social connection.
Social Health Labs envisions a society where loneliness is the exception and social health is the norm. By collaborating with cross-sector partners on local, state, national, and global initiatives, Social Health Labs aims to improve well-being through connection and community.