One out of every two Americans is struggling with loneliness, noted Mel Robbins, host of “The Mel Robbins Podcast,” as she spoke via Skype with CNN This Morning in an end of summer 2023 interview.
Robbins, one of the world’s most booked and followed podcast hosts on Apple Podcasts, carries a potent societal message that points to a serious community ministry opportunity for church leaders.
In the August interview, Robbins cited a 2023 report by the U.S. Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, who released a mental health-related advisory on an “epidemic of loneliness and isolation” in the United States.
As part of the report, the Surgeon General laid out six steps – below — to help combat social isolation, which were shared with the Suicide Prevention Resource Center and reported on its website on August 25, 2023.
1. strengthen social infrastructure
2. enact public policies that promote connection
3. address social disconnection in public health and health care systems
4. reform digital environments
5. deepen knowledge on the topic through research
6. create a national culture of connection
“Given the profound consequences of loneliness and isolation, we have an opportunity, and an obligation, to make the same investments in addressing social connection that we have made in addressing tobacco use, obesity, and the addiction crisis,” Murthy wrote in the advisory.
It’s clear: campus church leaders are in a unique position to help promote connectedness. And this was also noted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2011, when they called out the special abilities of faith communities and schools to help connect community members – saving and transforming lives in the process.
Multisite campus leaders – armed with The Message – stand in the center of a unique and very personal community ministry opportunity.