In Support of Student Mental Health Week, National Foundation Offers Students and Educators Resources to Address Loneliness

Tuesday, 27 February 2024 10:24

In Support of Student Mental Health Week, National Foundation Offers Students and Educators Resources to Address Loneliness Featured

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A Report from the Foundation for Social Connection Empowers Students and Educators to Address Loneliness Epidemic and Mental Health Crisis Amongst the Loneliest Generation

Washington, D.C. – This week marks the second annual Student Mental Health Week hosted by Chegg, with a critical focus on addressing the alarming levels of loneliness among students. Nationally, 79% of Gen Z says they experience loneliness, and 1 in 4 individuals aged 15-18 report feeling fairly or very lonely globally. To address this crisis, the Foundation for Social Connection has developed evidence-based strategies to address social disconnection among students.

Studies reveal that young adults are almost twice as likely to report experiencing loneliness compared to older adults. The effects of loneliness can be devastating to the physical and mental health of young people. In fact, 63% of young adults experiencing loneliness also report significant symptoms of anxiety or depression.

Jillian Racoosin Kornmeier, MPH, Executive Director of the Foundation for Social Connection says, “Despite being such a digitally connected generation, many youth and young adults struggle with experiences of loneliness, which has a profound impact on their mental health. The Foundation is proud to offer this report as a resource that will help connect our youth and ensure they lead healthy lives.”

The Foundation for Social Connection and its Scientific Advisory Council released their SOCIAL Framework: Education Sector research report to explore the repercussions of social isolation and loneliness on both students and educators. It puts forth evidence-based strategies aimed at nurturing social connections within the education sector. Acknowledging the diverse stakeholders involved, the report empowers students, teachers, administrators, policymakers, and others to take proactive measures and implement effective solutions to reduce loneliness and counteract the negative consequences associated with these experiences.

Some strategies within the report include:

  • Creating advisory and mentoring programs
  • Offering trauma-informed instruction
  • Increasing access Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Integrating mindfulness and peer-learning opportunities into curricula
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