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[GET CONNECTED] Canadians need to spend time with friends, family, coworkers, neighbors

Sixty percent of Canadians are feeling somewhat or much lonelier since the start of the pandemic, according to a survey conducted by The GenWell Project in partnership with the University of Victoria. Like similar surveys (see NYC State of Mind, below) the results point to the importance of social connections to overcome pandemic-related loneliness, anxieties and burnout. As the world seems to be in a new pandemic wave, organizations and communities will need to continue to focus on many of the technology/digital strategies that helped get constituents and staff through the original pandemic.

More than 3,800 Canadians participated in the survey, conducted during the pandemic’s third wave, from April 27 to June 1, 2021. Among the findings:

- 60% of participants reported feeling lonely many times a week, including 56% of the Silent Generation;

- 46% of respondents said they felt lonely every day;

- Compared to those who spent no time with co-workers, those who spent less than an hour with their coworkers in the past week were 1.36 times less likely to be lonely, while those who spent five or more hours with coworkers in the past week were 1.73 times less likely to be lonely;

- Those who spent five or more hours with family in the past week were 1.60 times less likely to be lonely than those who spent no time;

- Those who spent one to four hours with neighbors in the past week were 3.03 times less likely to be lonely.

"The best medicine for people, is people,” said Pete Bombaci, founder of The GenWell Project.  “Social connections have been shown to reduce loneliness, anxiety and depression, strengthen our immune system and self-confidence, help us develop empathy and compassion for others, and increase our chances of living longer by up to 50 percent. If we all make the effort to connect with others on a daily basis, we can have an impact on our own health and wellness, and that of those we connect with."

To download the preliminary survey, click here


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