Position Statement 1
Social connection is essential to health and wellbeing
Social connection means having a variety of relationships (from close personal ties such as family and friends through to weaker ties such as acquaintances and strangers); relationships you can rely upon for support; and relationships that are trusted, high quality, and satisfying. These relationships reflect a multitude of influences, including the diversity of our individual cultures and experiences and one’s biology. Each of us is somewhere on a continuum of social connection. Where an individual or population falls on that continuum reflects their degree of social connectedness. Social connection is vital for our health and wellbeing, while lacking or poor quality social connection is associated with significant risks to health and wellbeing.
1.1 Coordinated strategies to facilitate social connection - that reduces loneliness, social isolation, and social negativity - and that are informed by the diversity of individual cultural and personal experiences need to be implemented at the individual, community, national and global levels to support social health and wellbeing.
1.2 Across all sectors, policymakers need to evaluate and report on the costs and benefits for social health and wellbeing.
1.3 Additional research (basic and intervention evaluation) is needed to address existing gaps.
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