Triple-S Foundation assigns $1.25M to explore treatment for social isolation
The Triple-S Foundation assigned $1.25 million to raise awareness on social isolation and its health implications, advocate for public policy to address this ailment, and channel direct investment in community organizations that work with the most vulnerable groups affected by this reality.
The announcement came during the First symposium on social isolation and loneliness, during which the health risks associated with social isolation and loneliness were explored, as well as possible interventions to counter these conditions.
“We hope that this first symposium raises awareness as to the health effects of social isolation and loneliness in our society, with the aim of having the public sector, non-governmental organizations, communities and the private sector join forces to mitigate this epidemic,” said Roberto García-Rodríguez, CEO of Triple-S Management, adding that social isolation can burden public health and, consequently, the wellbeing of Puerto Rico and its economy.
The event, which was held at the Center for Puerto Rico, featured Julianne Holt-Lunstad, one of the world’s leading experts on the subject, whose work has identified the effects of social isolation on physical, mental, and cognitive health.
“Not only do we have robust evidence that being more socially connected leads to better health and well-being and greater longevity, as well as a reduction in risks associated with isolation and loneliness, but now we also have evidence that medical patients who receive psychosocial support in addition to standard medical treatment have 20% increased likelihood of survival and 29% increased survival time,” she said.
Holt-Lunstad directs the Society, Behavior & Health International Studies Program at Brigham Young University and is a BYU professor and founding chair of the Scientific Advisory Council for the Coalition to End Social Isolation and Loneliness, among other international and national responsibilities that she has taken on regarding this subject and the need to create healthy social connections.
The Symposium’s goal was to promote collaboration among the different sectors to raise awareness about the health risks of social isolation, support research, the development of indicators, and projects that foment meaningful social connections to counter the risks of social isolation and reduce its burden on public health,” García-Rodríguez said.