What we can learn from England’s battle against the loneliness epidemic


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When it comes to health crises, experts tend to focus on the conspicuous, like obesity and diabetes. But the hidden struggles, like depression, anxiety, and loneliness, can be just as damaging to your health. And the sad thing is, according to a sweeping survey, we’re lonelier than ever. Fortunately, several organizations are working to change that.

Global health service company Cigna recently launched a free online quiz to help people assess their loneliness, paired with steps to curb it if needed. And across the pond, the English government is pledging to direct more than £11 million ($13 million) toward ending the loneliness epidemic. The money will be used to fund more than 120 initiatives aimed at helping people feel happier and less isolated. From LGBTQ-focused organizations to a support system for displaced Pakistani women, a variety of groups will be eligible to participate in the program, according to The Guardian.

There’s something everyone can learn from England’s nascent initiative to combat loneliness: Community is key. Find your people. If you have a chronic illness, connect with other people online who understand exactly how hard it is when you can’t leave the house. If you’re a single parent, grab coffee with someone who gets it. With apps like Vina and Bumble BFF, finding your tribe is easier than ever before. Do your best to get out there. Your health depends on it.

Here are some tips for making friends as an adult. Plus, how friendships from your teens affect the person you are today.

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