Eradicate Social Isolation
Recent research has demonstrated that social isolation is as dangerous to human health as smoking.
Yet it does not receive nearly the same level of attention from the public, healthcare practitioners or
policymakers. As such, the Grand Challenge to Eradicate Social Isolation has set out to educate the
public, disseminate evidence-based practices, and advocate for policy reform, looking to deepen social
connections for people of all ages.
During the past five years, network members have been studying, publishing, and presenting widely on
social isolation in diverse populations and across the lifespan. In 2020, with the onset of the COVID -19
pandemic and the imposition of social distancing measures to slow its spread, social isolation has reached
crisis levels. In response, members of this Grand Challenge have sprung into action, launching new
programs, delivering webinars, publishing articles, and conducting a survey on the implications of social
distancing for mental health and well-being.
18 | Progress and Plans for the Grand Challenges