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Many people in our society are lonely. I recently read the following in an article about the rates of loneliness in the US. There was a nationwide survey conducted “which found that 47% of Americans lacked meaningful interpersonal interactions with a friend or family member on a daily basis. 43% reported having weak relationships, experiencing feelings of isolation, and an overall lack of companionship. 46% said they felt lonely often, while 47% reported feeling left out. It’s ironic that we’re more connected than ever before, and yet lonelier than ever.”

In our service settings, we understand the loneliness experienced by the people served and the need to help them find meaningful connections with others. In chapter 5 of The Mandt System, we have a quote from David Pitonyak that says, “In my view, most people served by the human services industry are profoundly lonely. Loneliness is the central reason why so many are unhappy and distraught.”

At the same time, we also need to recognize how loneliness may be affecting caregivers. Loneliness can negatively impact our physical, psychological, and emotional health. It can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life negatively affecting them personally and professionally.

This begs the question if we want our employees, and in turn, the people we serve to be as happy, healthy, and productive as possible, what are we doing as organizations to foster meaningful relationships for employees in our service settings? Are we recognizing the importance of and creating opportunities for teambuilding and connection?

In The Mandt System, we understand the importance of connection for all people. This is why the foundation of our program is learning to create and maintain healthy relationships with others. It is in the context of those relationships that caregivers are most effective at supporting the people they serve and where all people are best able to thrive and succeed.

If you’d like to look at the full article referenced above, you can access if by following this link.
https://bigthink.com/philip-perry/theres-a-loneliness-epidemic-in-the-us-and-its-getting-worse

Doug ZehrVogt, Mandt System Faculty

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