Loneliness is making us physically sick, but social prescribing can treat it

Social isolation and loneliness are increasingly becoming a societal problem, as they increase polarization and impact on our physical health. In 2018, two years before the pandemic, the United Kingdom created a ministerial portfolio for loneliness. Japan, where nearly 40 per cent of the population report experiencing loneliness, began a similar position in 2021. We speak to three researchers who invite us to more deeply consider loneliness and social isolation, and their impacts on our health and society. 

Featuring Ananya Chakravarti, an associate professor of the history of emotions at Georgetown University in Washington in the US, Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham Young University in the US, and Kate Mulligan, an assistant professor at the Dalla Lana School of Health in Canada.

This episode was produced by Mend Mariwany, who is also the show’s executive producer. Eloise Stevens does our sound design and our theme music is by Neeta Sarl. Full credits for this episode are available here. A transcript will be available soon. Sign up here for a free daily newsletter from The Conversation.

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