- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
Social connection is essential to our health and well-being.*
Advisory: The Healing Effects of Social Connection
Connection plays a critical role in individual, community, and societal health. This advisory calls attention to that role and offers a framework for how we can all contribute to improving social connection.
Key Takeaways from the
Humans are wired for social connection, but we’ve become more isolated over time
Social connection is as essential to our long-term survival as food and water. But today, loneliness is more widespread than other major health issues in the U.S. Our epidemic of loneliness and isolation is a major public health concern.
Social connection significantly improves the health and well-being of all individuals
Social connection reduces the risk of premature mortality. It can predict better physical and mental health outcomes and ease stress. Higher levels of connection can influence health-related behaviors. Connection can even impact educational and economic achievement.
Social connection is vital to community health and success
Socially connected communities enjoy better population-level health. They are more prepared for—and resilient in the face—of disaster situations. They also experience greater economic prosperity and reduced levels of crime and violence.
Together, we can advance social connection and improve our nation’s public health
Fostering social connection requires that we each commit to our relationships and communities. Our actions today can create sustainable changes to society and bring better health to all.
People with strong perceptions of community belongingness are 2.6 times more likely to report good or excellent health than people with a low sense of belongingness.1
How Can We Take Action Together?
How do we put this important information to practical use in our society? The Surgeon General has created a Framework for a National Strategy to Advance Social Connection. This details the critical and actionable next steps that individuals, communities, organizations, and governments can take to foster social connection.
Spread the word with these shareable tools
- U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy addresses our nation's loneliness & isolation crisis and the healing effects of social connection.Watch video
- This graphic explains relationship factors that contribute to an individual’s social connection.Download [PDF, 4.1 MB]
- This document includes information about the National Strategy to Advance Social Connection and recommendations for key stakeholders to foster greater social connection.Download [PDF, 1.7 MB]
- This graphic communicates the three pathways through which social connection has an impact on overall health.Download [PDF, 4.6 MB]
- This graphic shows national trends in social isolation and social connection behaviors from 2003 to 2020.Download [PDF, 3.7 MB]
- This graphic communicates the Surgeon General’s Framework for a National Strategy to Advance Social Connection.Download [PDF, 3.3 MB]
- This graphic communicates the factors—from individual to societal—that play a role in shaping social connection.Download [PDF, 11 MB]
- This slide includes the key takeaways from the advisory.Download [PDF, 6.8 MB]
- This document includes the key takeaways from the advisory.Download [PDF, 4.9 MB]
- This one-page document includes information and recommendations for an individual to foster greater social connection in their life.Download [PDF, 2.1 MB]
- This one-page document includes information and recommendations for educators and administrators to foster greater social connection in schools.Download [PDF, 6 MB]
- This one-page document includes information and recommendations for parents and caregivers to foster greater social connection in their children’s lives.Download [PDF, 2.1 MB]
- This PDF includes 12 social connection fact cards that highlight the negative impact that social isolation and loneliness has on individual and community level health and well-being.Download [PDF, 2.8 MB]