Health

NYC Health Commissioner declares ‘pandemic of loneliness’


As the pandemic subsided, loneliness became the new pain that spread through the Big Apple.

According to a citywide health survey, more than half of residents said they ‘feel lonely’ some time, with more than two-thirds saying they felt socially isolated for four weeks via.

Dr Dave Chokshi, commissioner of the city’s Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, wrote to CNBC declaring this was an ‘epidemic of loneliness’.

While the pandemic has exacerbated the problem, he noted that loneliness has long been an unresolved problem for Americans.

A recent survey found that 57% of New Yorkers felt lonely and 67% felt socially isolated within the past four weeks.  In the photo: New Yorkers walking around the Herald Square in New York City

A recent survey found that 57% of New Yorkers felt lonely and 67% felt socially isolated within the past four weeks.  In the photo: New Yorkers walking around the Herald Square in New York City

A recent survey found that 57% of New Yorkers felt lonely and 67% felt socially isolated within the past four weeks. In the photo: New Yorkers walking around the Herald Square in New York City

Chokshi writes: “The truth is, loneliness has been hidden in plain sight for years.

‘Rough scientific studies of the negative health effects of loneliness and social isolation exist – but public health action is still uneven.’

He warned that in America’s longing for normalcy in a post-pandemic world, the lonely should not be overlooked or left behind.

Dr Dave Chokshi (pictured), commissioner for NYC's Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, says loneliness should not be ignored as the world returns to 'normal', post-pandemic life.

Dr Dave Chokshi (pictured), commissioner for NYC's Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, says loneliness should not be ignored as the world returns to 'normal', post-pandemic life.

Dr Dave Chokshi (pictured), commissioner for NYC’s Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, says loneliness should not be ignored as the world returns to ‘normal’, post-pandemic life.

Covid has had a disastrous impact on the mental health of Americans. New York City, often bustling ‘The City that Never Sleeps’, was subjected to strict lockdown measures when the pandemic first hit years ago.

Iconic locations like Times Square are empty during rush hour as shops and restaurants close and people stay home fearing the virus.

A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that rates of anxiety and depression among US adults quadrupled in the first year of the pandemic.

School closures and other disruptions to life caused by the pandemic have also been blamed for an increase in teen mental health problems.

These factors exacerbate a problem that was in the ‘shadow’ as many people were isolated before the pandemic hit in early 2020.

He suggested some of the repairs his city and other places around the country could potentially make to help those dealing with loneliness.

“First, we must reduce barriers to care by meeting people where they are, in the neighborhoods they live in – not just expecting them to arrive,” he wrote. the service provider happened to be present.

He also believes that regular neighborhood and community events can bring people out of apartments and into social environments where they can meet new people and form relationships with others. .

Chokshi believes that community events that bring people together because of their similarities could play some role in addressing the loneliness crisis exacerbated by the pandemic.  In the photo: New York youth walking through the city on March 7

Chokshi believes that community events that bring people together because of their similarities could play some role in addressing the loneliness crisis exacerbated by the pandemic.  In the photo: New York youth walking through the city on March 7

Chokshi believes that community events that bring people together because of their similarities could play some role in addressing the loneliness crisis exacerbated by the pandemic. In the photo: New York youth walking through the city on March 7

“Public health must work with residents to plan programs to improve social connectivity,” he wrote.

‘Communities deserve a say in what they need and want, and city agencies then help provide resources alongside community partners.’

He cites the ‘parent cafe’ in Harlem, which brings together people in the area to bond over a shared living situation.

Chokshi also says that only public education can be a valuable tool and reminds people that they are not alone and that the resources that exist through subway and television advertisements can be enough to help some people.

Finally, he addresses some of the structural issues that may be contributing to the city’s mental health crisis.

“Our work must acknowledge the structural underpinnings of so much stress and trauma in our society,” he writes.

‘The people most at risk of loneliness are those in marginalized communities, because unequal access to food, housing, education and healthcare affects to a sense of belonging.’

Source: | This article originally belonged to Dailymail.co.uk



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