01 January 2024 |
Despite the world becoming increasingly interconnected, the paradox of loneliness continues to expand its reach, affecting millions worldwide. A recent study has revealed a concerning trend: 58 percent of Americans experience persistent feelings of loneliness. According to a recent NAD News article, this issue has prompted the launch of “Connecting to Hope,” an awareness campaign in New York City aimed at encouraging people to establish deeper connections within their community, with family, friends, neighbors, and spiritual ties.
The campaign, a collaboration between the North American Division (NAD) and Hope Channel International, is seizing the holiday season to address this silent epidemic. It features a series of striking 15-second advertisements on a digital billboard in Times Square, guiding viewers to the campaign’s website, www.ConnectHope.com. Here, individuals can connect with trained representatives through various channels, including text, chat, email, and phone. The website also lists local NYC businesses and nonprofits for community engagement opportunities.
“This is one of those times the Lord provided a unique opportunity for us to connect with those we rarely reach,” said G. Alexander Bryant, NAD president. “We are excited about this collaboration with Hope Channel. This is a tremendous opportunity.”
This initiative comes in the wake of a 2023 National Institute of Mental Health survey, highlighting that one in three individuals across various age groups experiences chronic loneliness. This condition affects all generations, with social media playing a significant role among millennials and Gen Z. The elderly are not spared, with factors like retirement and loss of loved ones contributing to their isolation. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has recognized the serious health impacts of social isolation among seniors.
“Connecting to Hope” aims to address these issues through a multifaceted approach, integrating mental health awareness, community building, and policies that support social well-being. The campaign offers practical suggestions to combat loneliness, emphasizing the importance of reaching out to others, volunteering, joining clubs or groups, embracing technology for connections, and seeking professional help when necessary.