CEO Associate Professor Michelle Lim joins global experts on the WHO Commission on Social Connection Technical Advisory Group

April 2024

“Loneliness isn’t an issue only faced by Australia, it’s a global issue that must be addressed as a collective” – Associate Professor Michelle Lim

Ending Loneliness Together is pleased to share our CEO Associate Professor Michelle Lim has been appointed to join twenty experts across the globe on the Technical Advisory Group for the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Commission on Social Connection. She was one of three experts and the only woman appointed in the Western Pacific region.

Three of our Scientific Advisory Committee members will also sit on the Technical Advisory Group; Professor Manuela Barreto, Professor Pamela Qualter and Professor Julianne Holt-Lunstad.

In November 2023, WHO established the Commission on Social Connection, which aims to reposition social connection as a genuine global public health priority and to scale up cost-effective solutions to address loneliness and social isolation. The Technical Advisory Group on Social Connection will act as an advisory body to WHO on the issue of social connection and its impact on health and society. Due to the complexity of the issue, the Advisory Group brings together representatives from different sectors and disciplines including psychologists, psychiatrists, social epidemiologists, social gerontologists, paediatricians, public health specialists and experts in digital mental health.

Associate Professor Lim believes the development of an Advisory Group will ensure a world-wide approach to tackling loneliness, ultimately enhancing the health of people of all ages, gender identities and cultural backgrounds.

“Our recent State of the Nation Report found that 1 in 3 Australians of all ages feel lonely and its impacting their physical and mental wellbeing. But loneliness isn’t an issue only faced by Australia, it’s a global issue that must be addressed as a collective. Bringing together expertise from across the world will provide access to the latest research, enable evaluation of existing interventions and spark innovation that can be translated to nation-specific approaches.”

Associate Professor Lim congratulates WHO for making social connection a priority and looks forward to connecting with colleagues in the coming months.

“Identifying a problem is the first step towards change and progress. WHO has done this by establishing the Commission and putting measures in place to enhance social connection on a global scale so that everyone can live a healthy and fulfilling life.”

To see all members of the Technical Advisory Group
click here