Washington, D.C. – October 11, 2022 – Today, the Foundation for Social Connection and its sister organization, the Coalition to End Social Isolation and Loneliness, kick off the third annual End Social Isolation & Loneliness Action Forum. Each year, the central aim of the Action Forum remains the same: to convene and urge individuals and organizations large and small to commit to ending social isolation and loneliness. Year after year, Action Forum participants hear how these commitments grow and continue to promote real evidence- and system-based change.
“The data speaks for itself – more than half of Americans are considered lonely, and an overwhelming majority (90%) of Americans believe the nation is in the midst of a mental health crisis,” said Andrew MacPherson, Founder and Chair of the Coalition to End Social Isolation & Loneliness. “There is much to be done, but I am proud that this year’s Action Forum builds upon our commitment to bring diverse experts together to highlight innovative, multi-sector, measurable approaches to combat the adverse effects of social isolation and loneliness.”
This year, the Foundation for Social Connection is honored to have Academy Award-winning actress, best-selling author, and children’s mental health advocate, Goldie Hawn, deliver keynote remarks to kick off the first day of the Action Forum. Eventbrite CEO and Co-Founder Julia Hartz will kick off the second day, which includes a segment on the lived experience and a spotlight on social connection among youth and young adults. The third day will feature a fireside chat between U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg on community action and the presentation of the inaugural Marcia Slater Johnston Award for Outstanding leadership in Community-Based Efforts to Reduce Social Isolation and Loneliness.
“Addressing loneliness and social isolation can improve health outcomes for individuals and communities. It’s time to refocus on strengthening our connections with one another and rebuilding community,” said U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy.
The Action Forum is the prime opportunity to identify key innovations, promote global, federal, state, and local solutions, and ultimately raise the visibility of the social isolation and loneliness crisis. With over 20 dynamic sessions and three interactive “Big Talk” conversations following each day, the 2022 Action Forum offers participants the ability to dive into conversations centering on policy, practice, and place.
The Foundation is thrilled to welcome back leaders in research, academia, and philanthropy to the 2022 Action Forum, including Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Professor at Brigham Young University, Dr. Michelle Lim, Scientific Chair of Ending Loneliness Together, and Christopher Mikton, Officer at the World Health Organization. This year, the Foundation highlights additional voices from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), Lyft Healthcare, Encore.org, UnitedHealthcare, Einhorn Collaborative, and the Foundation for Art & Healing, among others.
Participants will also hear insights from federal champions at the U.S. House of Representatives, including Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-CA) and Congressman John Curtis (R-UT), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), including Dr. Doug Jacobs, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health (OASH), including Erin McDonald, as well as remarks from Commissioner Nikki Fried (FL), Mayor Ron Nirenberg (TX), and Mayor Brandon Scott (MD).
“Eventbrite is honored to partner with the Coalition to End Social Isolation and Loneliness to elevate social isolation as a public health priority,” said Julia Hartz, Eventbrite CEO and co-founder. “We’re designing research-backed solutions to support creators in hosting more socially connected events, reduce stigma around isolation, and empower young people to create a more socially connected future.”
“Unmet social needs – including loneliness and social isolation – can negatively influence health outcomes,” said Tamara Smith, Associate Vice President of Health Equity Strategic Implementation at Humana. “Humana’s solutions and resources, including our Humana Community Navigator tool and “Far from Alone” campaign, demonstrate this is a top priority for the whole health of our members.”
“Providing vital social connections for older adults is a key part of what Meals on Wheels delivers, but we also know that it will take our collective efforts to address loneliness and isolation and scale effective solutions. The Commitments to Action made at the 2022 End Social Isolation and Loneliness Action Forum play an important role in shining a light on these issues and can inspire us all to build thriving, socially connected communities,” said Lucy Theilheimer, Chief Strategy and Impact Officer, Meals on Wheels America.
The Foundation for Social Connection (F4SC) was founded in 2020 with the vision for all Americans to have the opportunities and evidence-based support necessary to live a socially connected life. F4SC engages in education, increases public awareness, promotes innovative research, and spurs the development and implementation of evidence-based models that address social isolation and loneliness and promote social connection.
The Coalition to End Social Isolation & Loneliness brings together a diverse set of national organizations, including consumer groups, health plans, health care providers, technology innovators, patient advocates, and more, to develop and advocate for federal policy solutions to address the epidemic of social isolation and loneliness.