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We all feel lonely every now and then; this is a natural part of life. But for some people, loneliness becomes a constant fixture in their lives and they feel lonely every day. And if the loneliness takes hold and becomes a lasting feeling, it is also damaging.

We forget or completely lose our social skills if we never use them. Simply engaging in a completely normal conversation can present itself as an impossible task, for example, and our bodies react by raising our blood pressure and we feel stressed. Moreover, loneliness is also a hidden and overlooked problem – we at The Mary Foundation want to change that.

UN Sustainable Development Goals, SDG 3

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

We cannot thrive if our social needs are not met over an extended period, and long-term loneliness damages our mental and physical health to the same extent as stress and obesity, and can shorten our lifespan. The number of Danes experiencing severe loneliness is currently on the rise. Our efforts to help all people gain positive and mutually beneficial relationships thus contributes to SDG 3.

With its focus on reducing premature mortality from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and promoting mental health and well-being, target 3.4 is particularly relevant to our efforts to combat loneliness.

Facts about Loneliness

  • 22% of all 16-24 year olds are severely lonely
  • Short-term loneliness is perfectly normal and harmless
  • Long-term loneliness can reduce or completely destroy our social skills
  • Long-term loneliness is damaging to our health
  • Loneliness is a subjective feeling
  • People who feel severely lonely live an average of six months shorter compared to people who do not experience severe loneliness