Social isolation and loneliness can contribute to health ailments and increase the risk of premature health, however, the antidote, social connection, can be addressed systematically or through individual actions.

In general terms, the US. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, suggested steps that can be taken to counter social isolation and loneliness at the Advancing Social Connection and Health event organized by the Fundación Triple-S.

As the understanding of the problem of social isolation and loneliness and its effects on health grows, countries such as England and Japan have appointed Ministers of Loneliness to address these social factors with comprehensive policies. In the U.S., the Surgeon General published an advisory on what he has called an epidemic of loneliness and isolation.


As big and serious as the problem is, the Surgeon General indicated that it is within our reach to take action that can promote our own social connection and that of our community. Youths are one of the most affected groups, starting in middle school. He shared that a group of students in California observed that there were many lonely and isolated students during lunchtime. They created a group that sought to integrate them at lunchtime and at other school activities. This concept has been adopted by other schools.

Loneliness is a feeling that often obscures that others also feel lonely. In doing something for someone else, in serving others, you can combat the feeling of loneliness while helping you feel part of a community. He also recommended that you call someone that you may have not spoken to in a while from your network of family and friends to strengthen those connections.

Social connections can also be promoted at work, where most of us spend the greater part of our day. In his case, he encourages members of his team to get to know each other personally by “interviewing” each other so they learn each other’s interests outside of the workplace.

Moreover, he advised that everyone should consider placing healthy guard rails on the use of social media and other electronic media which if abused may isolate us from our surrounding world. A 2019 longitudinal study of youths on the use of social media found a potential increase in mental health risks in youths who used social media for more than three hours every day.

For more information, you can visitSocial Connection — Current Priorities of the U.S. Surgeon General (  and Socializar es saludable.