What do you think of when you think of the holiday season? Parties? Gift exchanges? Family and friends? The holiday season is generally thought of as the most joyful (albeit stressful) time of the year, but for many it marks the time of year for profound loneliness. It is the time for gathering together with loved ones to celebrate special holidays and enjoy communion with one another; however, this isn’t the reality for everyone. Whether it be from the death of a loved one or spouse, isolation caused by sickness, emotional distance, or disability, many think of this typically beautiful season with a sense of dread.
In recent years, the prevalence of loneliness and social isolation have come to the forefront of medical research and media outlets globally as many began to understand the critical effects of these social determinants of health on quality of life and life expectancy. Research has shown time and time again that those that suffer from loneliness have a higher risk of developing severe chronic conditions and mental health challenges. Loneliness has been proven to not only have a direct effect on your mental wellbeing but your physical wellbeing as well.
For those suffering from loneliness this holiday season, we at BeneLynk are here to support our health plan members. Our live, friendly advocates are happy to speak with members about why they are lonely this holiday season, and how we can provide the information and encouragement necessary to help combat loneliness. There are programs across the country specifically designed to assist with loneliness and social isolation. We are happy to connect members with programs that can help overcome this and any other social determinant of health barrier they may be facing. Let us help make this holiday season brighter. From all of us here at BeneLynk, we hope you all have a merry and joyful holiday season. Happy holidays!
To read more about loneliness and how BeneLynk is combatting this social determinant of health, read our whitepaper: “Loneliness: A Social Determinant of Health”.