Launching the Global Initiative on Loneliness and Connection
20 July 2021
The world’s response to the issue of loneliness after the seismic impact of Covid-19 is the focus of a ground-breaking event involving leaders and loneliness organisations from around the world. Organised by the UK’s Campaign to End Loneliness on behalf of the new Global Initiative on Loneliness and Social Isolation (GILC), What is the global response to loneliness after Covid-19? took place on 20 July 2020.
Watch the Webinar Recording
The online event included presentations from:
● Dr Vivek Murthy, 21st Surgeon General of the United States of America
● Baroness Diana Barron, MBE is the Minister for Civil Society at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport
● Mr Andrew Giles MP, Federal Member of Parliament for Scullin, Co-Chair Parliamentary Friends of Ending Loneliness, Shadow Minister for Cities and Urban Infrastructure, Multicultural Affairs and Assisting for Immigration and Citizenship
● Dr Fiona Martin MP, Federal Member of Parliament for Reid, Co-Chair Parliamentary Friends of Ending Loneliness
● Dr Naoko Yamamoto, Assistant Director-General, Universal Health Coverage / Healthier Populations, World Health Organisation on the global response to loneliness
● Dr Ruth Verhey, from the Friendship Bench on the experience of tackling loneliness in Zimbabwe
● Robin Hewings, Programme Director of the Campaign to End Loneliness on the UK’s new report Loneliness after Covid-19
● Dr Michelle Lim, Chairperson of Ending Loneliness Together (AUS) and leading Australian scientific expert in loneliness research across GILC member countries, Co- Director of the Global Initiative on Loneliness and Social Isolation on the role of the GILC in tackling loneliness
● Mr Edward Garcia, Co-Director of the Global Initiative on Loneliness and Social Isolation on the role of the GILC in tackling loneliness.
Edward Garcia, from the Global Initiative on Loneliness and Social Isolation said,
“The global pandemic unified the world’s experience of social isolation and loneliness and shed a spotlight on the linkage between social connection and overall health and wellbeing.
By engaging a broad coalition of distinguished thought leaders and innovators across at all levels of impact, we are hoping to inspire a global dialogue and action to reconnect society. We want this web event to be the beginning of a global ‘loneliness’ conversation.”
Dr Michelle Lim, Scientific Chair of Ending Loneliness Together said,
“Loneliness is an emerging global issue that requires a global response. We know from our research that one in four Australians were lonely before the onset of the pandemic. In Australia’s first lockdown, one in two Australians reported that they felt more lonely. Other countries have been similarly affected so we are sharing our experiences and knowledge so we can learn how to better tackle loneliness.”
Who is GILC?
The Global Initiative on Loneliness and Connection (GILC) is comprised of representatives of national organisations committed to addressing the pressing global issues of loneliness and social isolation and to support the dissemination of system-wide, national approaches to building social connection. Organisations represented within the GILC include:
Ending Loneliness Together, Australia
Instituto Dara, Brazil
The GenWell Project, Help the Age Canada
The Mary Foundation, Denmark
Togetherness Hub, Germany
Loneliness New Zealand Charitable Trust, New Zealand
Campaign to End Loneliness, UK
Coalition to End Social Isolation and Loneliness, USA