Bipartisan Bill Introduced To Unify Efforts To Address Loneliness Epidemic
Credit: Environment for Aging
U.S. Congressman Mike Flood, R-Neb., and Congressman David Trone, D-Md., introduced the Improving Measurements for Loneliness and Isolation Act, which aims to bring together subject-matter experts, researchers, and various stakeholders to unify existing efforts to increase social connection.
Earlier this year, the Surgeon General declared loneliness a public health epidemic in America and released “Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation, The U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory on the Healing Effects of Social Connection and Community.” The advisory notes that the physical health consequences of poor or insufficient connection include a 29 percent increased risk of heart disease, 32 percent increased risk of stroke, and a 50 percent increased risk of developing dementia for older adults.
The bill calls for the establishment of a national Working Group on Unifying Loneliness, which will include Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The goals for the group include developing standardized definitions of loneliness and isolation to help educate and build awareness and outlining standardized measurements and tools for use in public and private research as well as across healthcare.
Earlier this year, Congressman Flood introduced a resolution highlighting the loneliness epidemic in America. More information about the resolution can be found here.