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'What's eating at America': Addressing the loneliness and isolation epidemic

A young person sits on the floor in a darkened doorway.
Elva Etienne
Getty Images

Approximately half of U.S. adults reported experiencing loneliness, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The issue recently moved U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to issue an advisory around the "loneliness epidemic" in America.

Soon after, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy introduced a bill that would launch an Office of Social Connection Policy, and fund CDC research to "better understand the epidemic of social isolation and loneliness."

While on The Colin McEnroe Show in July, Murphy said the move was "part of a broader exploration for me of what is eating in America... I have come to the conclusion that there's a lot of new and unique things that are hurting Americans and making them feel unhappy today," chief among them loneliness or "aloneness."

This hour, we explore how loneliness, isolation and social disconnection are being addressed where we live. Deb Bibbins and Gary Sekorski founded For All Ages, and more recently, the Connecticut Collaborative to End Loneliness, to help bolster and centralize resources.

How does loneliness or isolation affect you?


Cat Pastor contributed to this episode which originally aired September 18, 2023.

Where We Live is available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, TuneIn, Listen Notes, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode.

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Katie is a producer for Connecticut Public Radio's news-talk show 'Where We Live.' She has previously worked for CNN and News 8-WTNH.
Catherine is the Host of Connecticut Public’s morning talk show and podcast, Where We Live. Catherine and the WWL team focus on going beyond the headlines to bring in meaningful conversations that put Connecticut in context.