The UnLonely Project and founder Jeremy Nobel, MD, MPH were featured in US News & World Reports. Here’s an excerpt from the article. You can read the full story here.
Feeling sad, lonely and useless is more than just an emotional quagmire for millions of Americans – it may represent a public health hazard.
Despite the lack of a coordinated government response, private programs like Well Connected, which now reaches people in 38 states, are beginning to heighten awareness of and address America’s loneliness problem.
The UnLonely Project, a program led by Harvard Medical School internist Jeremy Nobel, is evaluating the use of creative arts to help participants explore their feelings about loneliness and bond with others by sharing their stories online and in person. The project includes the UnLonely Film Festival, a collection of short films that deal with loneliness and have educational components. Additionally, the project partners with various senior centers, health systems, workplaces and schools to offer in-person programs that have shown promise in reducing isolation and improving health outcomes.
Hospitals and health systems may be best positioned to make a real difference, both by shedding light on the problem and partnering with community organizations to offer solutions, Nobel says. But to date, few offer programs for the isolated and lonely.
One that does: CareMore Health, a health care delivery system serving 150,000 Medicaid and Medicare patients in 10 states, helps Anthem Medicare Advantage patients reconnect socially through referrals to community centers and senior-focused fitness centers.