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 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 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.
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:
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:
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.
Yellowbrick collaborates with adolescents and emerging adults, ages 16-30's, their families and participating professionals toward the development and implementation of a strategic “Life Plan.” An integrative, multi-specialty consultation clarifies strengths, limitations, and risks, and defines motivations, goals and choices.
A mental health condition that’s characterized by intense shifts in mood including both manic and depressive episodes.
People living with Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, experience episodes of depression and sadness that are debilitating to daily life.
Those living with anxiety disorders experience high levels of anxiety and stress that interfere negatively with daily life.
A mental health issue in which a person’s cognitive function is impaired, resulting in symptoms like experiencing challenges with conducting speech, reading and writing, and behavior.
Mental health disorders that negatively affect a person’s behaviors, thought patterns, and function. People diagnosed with these disorders experience challenges with managing relationships and understanding various situations.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that people can develop as a result of experiencing traumatic situations, characterized by symptoms including flashbacks, avoidance behaviors, and more.
A mental health condition that is characterized by specific symptoms of forgetfulness and lack of concentration, which makes it challenging to complete necessary tasks.
Mental health conditions that interfere with a person’s eating habits, thought patterns, and behaviors in negative ways.
A mental health disorder diagnosable with the DSM-5 that is characterized by both obsessions and compulsive behaviors.