The Surgeon General’s Advisory on the Importance of Social Connection

  • Posted at May 15, 2023
  • Written by Rebecca
The Surgeon General’s Advisory on the Importance of Social Connection

This year, the Surgeon General issued an advisory surrounding the topic of the impacts of social isolation on mental health and how social connection is imperative to personal well-being. In the statement’s introduction, the Surgeon General summarizes the issue of social isolation and what can be done about it by saying, “Loneliness and isolation represent profound threats to our health and well-being. But we have the power to respond. By taking small steps every day to strengthen our relationships, and by supporting community efforts to rebuild social connection, we can rise to meet this moment together. We can build lives and communities that are healthier and happier. And we can ensure our country and the world are better poised than ever to take on the challenges that lay ahead.”

The Meaning of a Surgeon General’s Advisory

The purpose of a Surgeon General’s Advisory is to spread awareness and information to the public about specific issues that can negatively affect the health of the public. Furthermore, it contains information specific to how individuals who are struggling with these issues can get the help they need or make a difference in their lifestyle in order to overcome the impacts of these mental and physical health issues. This Surgeon General’s Advisory about social connection highlights the importance of the need for humans to have social connections with other humans and the consequences of not having social connections with others as it relates to both mental and physical health. It also provides recommendations on how individuals can work toward making more social connections in their own lives and communities in order to overcome the impacts of non-social connections.

Information provided in this Surgeon General’s Advisory is developed from the research of scientists, doctors, and mental health professionals as well as published works of literature created by certifiable and professional experts.

The Importance of Social Connection

The Surgeon Generals Advisory on social connection highlights the importance of social connection and states, “Social connection— the structure, function, and quality of our relationships with others—is a critical and underappreciated contributor to individual and population health, community safety, resilience, and prosperity.”. But, many US citizens don’t have social connections in place with others to utilize the rewards of social connection, leading to a reduction in mental and physical health as well as experiencing other negative effects.

The Effects of a Lack of Social Connection

When a person doesn’t have enough relationships or social connections within the community, they are likely to experience negative effects that can affect both mental and physical health negatively. Some of the negative effects of a lack of social connection, according to the Surgeon General’s Advisory include increased risks of:

  • dying early
  • having a stroke
  • heart disease
  • diabetes
  • developing mental health issues like anxiety and depressive disorders
  • diseases brought on by illness and infection
  • decreased cognitive functioning
What Parents Can Do to Help Young Adult Children Improve Social Connection

Since the pandemic, more young people and emerging adults are struggling with social connections and the effects of not having social connections within their communities. The negative impacts of non-social connection may have parents of young people wondering what they can do to help. Some things parents of young people who are struggling with social connection can do, according to the Surgeon General’s Advisory include:

  • modeling social connection yourself by engaging in community activities, spending time with family and friends, and working to resolve conflict within the family in healthy ways
  • taking an interest and providing support for your young adult child’s social connections
  • provide a safe and non-judgmental space for your young adult child to talk about struggling with social connection
  • help young adult loved ones connect with family members, family friends, and community resources in order to develop strong connections with others

Yellowbrick Helps Emerging Adults Who Struggle With Social Connection

If you find that your young adult child is struggling with the effects of not having enough social connections, like mental health issues, Yellowbrick can help. We offer programs aimed at aiding young adults emerging into their next phase of life – adulthood. Our programs and services are directly geared to emerging adult needs and allow for societal and community interaction and teach young people how to maintain healthy, connected relationships with others. Find out more about our facility and programs on our website.

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