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Could We Have Helped Eleanor Rigby? What We Have Learned About Loneliness and Social Isolation

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It is widely accepted that people living with serious mental illness will die 25 years earlier than the overall population average, but are we missing a larger issue, that of social isolation, a common situation for those living with mental illness? By addressing the challenges of social isolation, can we increase the life expectancy of people living with serious mental illness? The first step is to understand the difference between social isolation and loneliness. The UK and the United Nations have been proactively addressing these issues. Should the United States follow suit, or should we chart our own course?

As a result of this presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Define social isolation and determine the difference between social isolation and loneliness
  • Define the health risk(s) related to social isolation
  • Provide ideas to address social isolation in our communities
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