Dr. Tom Insel, former NIMH Director and mental health leader, reacts to the rising tide of loneliness, affecting 35% of elderly

NEW YORKSept. 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ —  Dr. Tom Insel, one of the most highly regarded mental health leaders in the US, views lack of community-driven solutions that can prevent a mental health crisis, and preempt a relapse post-treatment, as one of the biggest challenges to mental health at scale. The reason: record low engagement rates with mental health services, accelerated by the rising tide of loneliness which leads to disengagement.

“Loneliness is crippling mental healthcare,” says Dr. Insel.

Dr. Insel served as the director of the National Institute of Mental Health between 2002 and 2015. He will share his thoughts about how the Loneliness Epidemic can be cured at scale on Wednesday, September 14th1 – 2 pm ET. The panel is organized by Wisdo Health.

3 out of 5 employed Americans suffer from loneliness[1], in addition to 35% of older adults[2]. With its increasing impact on health and medical costs, now, more than ever, we need to ask whether loneliness can be “cured” at scale. And, if so, how?

Dr. Insel is among the healthcare leaders and decision-makers who will discuss this question live, alongside:

  • Jennifer Spear – Associate Director, Population Health Strategy at Humana, and
  • Professor Dan Russell – Co-developer of the UCLA-3 loneliness scale

Moderated by Wisdo Health Founder & CEO Boaz Gaon, panelists will discuss best practices in evaluating and addressing social isolation and loneliness among adults, and their impact on medical costs and overall health.

The goal of this webinar is to leave attendees with a strong understanding of what practical steps need to be taken to “cure” loneliness at scale on the societal and organizational levels.

The main topic covered by each panelist is as follows:

Engagement as the Key to Improving Mental Health – In his book “Healing,” Dr. Insel describes lack of engagement as one of the largest problems of mental healthcare. Can this trend be reversed at scale, and if so, how?

Importance of Increasing Healthy Days and Community Resources – Humana’s Bold Goal initiative has been a leader in addressing the impact of loneliness and other Social Determinants of Health. Jennifer Spear, Humana, will discuss the Bold Goal initiative and Humana’s approach to addressing health-related social needs, provide highlights from Humana’s recent pilot with Wisdo Health, and other new initiatives to raise awareness and address loneliness and social isolation.

The Four Provisions to Address Loneliness – Professor Russell will share his research on the provisions of addressing loneliness, including key validated scales to measure loneliness, such as the UCLA-3, which Professor Russell co-developed.

“We are thrilled that leaders of this caliber, who are working to improve mental healthcare delivery, have agreed to come together to share their thoughts about how the loneliness epidemic can be cured at scale. It is Wisdo Health’s view that it’s time to consider whether the loneliness epidemic is curable at scale, rather than simply attempting to slow its spread,” shares Boaz Gaon, Wisdo Health’s Founder and CEO.

“Curing loneliness – and the financial health costs it incurs – at scale is an ambitious goal, but it is also the only threshold, we believe, that can push all of us to think more structurally about how best to prevent our continued slide into disconnect, tribalism, and illness before it is too late.”

The webinar is free of charge and open to all healthcare leaders and corporate executives interested in providing effective support to their employees.

Registrations are still available on the event page.

About Wisdo:

Working with leaders in healthcare to address the impact of loneliness and social isolation, Wisdo is a holistic, research-proven social health and clinical referral platform that creates customized and measurable peer-to-peer networks to significantly improve health and lower medical costs per member.

[1] https://newsroom.cigna.com/loneliness-in-america
[2] https://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/general/loneliness_2010.pdf

For more information, contact Natalie Stengenatalie.stenge@wisdo.com.


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