The Coalition to End Social Isolation and Loneliness was proud to activate and call out for change to create a more socially connected society in honor of Global Loneliness Awareness Week 2023. Loneliness Awareness Week, founded and pioneered by our partners at the Marmalade Trust in the UK, is a chance for our nation to coalesce and shine a spotlight on this critically important issue impacting so many in our nation and across the world. 

Together with our members and partners, we created a tidal wave of momentum. Through dozens of conversations with lawmakers and federal leaders held in just the last few weeks alone, to conversations at the US Capitol with experts, thought leaders, and changemakers, we are making a change to address social isolation and loneliness. We were honored to hear from Kier Gaines, licensed therapist and mental health advocate, in addition to our champions on the Hill, Senators Tina Smith and Chris Murphy, and Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, all who have shown tremendous leadership in Congress and locally on this issue.

“There’s a political cost to ignoring this epidemic of loneliness. It’s no coincidence that you’ve seen a rise in fringe politics, conspiracy theory, and political violence as more Americans are reporting that they are feeling lonely.” – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT)

“Supporting people who are experiencing social isolation and loneliness is what connects us to our humanity. Human beings are wired to want to be connected.” – U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN)

In addition to our federal and local leaders, we were honored to hear from the California Poet Laureate, Lee Herrick, in addition to Brian Turner, Izzy Boring, Prince Taylor, and Adrienne Griffen, who shone a light on the perspectives of young adults, veterans, and mothers.

“We have to stop beating around the bush. Loneliness can be deadly.” Izzy Boring, collegiate student athlete and young adult advocate, continued, “There’s someone out there who has a wound the exact same size as your words.”

The momentum we have created through our collective commitment to addressing this issue head on can be seen and felt – both through the ongoing efforts at the local and community level, in addition to the progress being made at the federal level. Just last month, the US Surgeon General released the first-ever landmark Advisory on the Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation, and the healing power of connection. The Advisory proposed a national framework for tackling loneliness and building a more connected society. Further, on June 22nd, following his remarks at the Coalition’s Connections at the Capitol event, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) addressed the United States Senate to highlight the epidemic of loneliness and urge his colleagues in Congress to take action. Though we know the crisis of social isolation and loneliness has been prevalent long before today, we are heartened to see the issue at the forefront of conversations, both among lawmakers and the public. We are proud to be a part of history in the making. 

From all of us at the Coalition to End Social Isolation and Loneliness, and our sister organization the Foundation for Social Connection, we thank you for being part of the solution. Together we can create a world full of belonging and connection. 

From our team at CESIL to you – we thank you for joining us in our efforts to end social isolation and loneliness. 

If you would like to read more highlights from Connections at the Capitol and learn what our distinguished speakers are doing to promote connection, click here!