What Are We Doing to Address Loneliness as a Social Driver of Health?

The U.S. is experiencing an epidemic of loneliness, and studies suggest that cultivating better relationships with the people who live nearby is crucial for your happiness. An early 2023 Gallup survey found that 17% of American adults said they felt lonely “a lot of the day yesterday.” A lack of social connections is linked to poor mental health and even premature death. But living within a mile of a happy friend increases the likelihood that you’ll be happy by 25%, according to a multi-generational study. The problem is that a majority of Americans don’t know most of their neighbors. This sounds like a challenge that FQHCs as community-based organizations are up to! What can you do to support meaningful human connections in the communities you serve?