Ventilen, or “friend to one” in Danish, is an organization that helps 15-to-25-year-olds get together twice a week with two or three volunteers. Together, the people in the group play games, make meals, go to the cinema, and build human connections.
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Loneliness is becoming an "epidemic" and is associated with illnesses like heart disease, dementia, depression, anxiety, and longevity.
Back in 1999, a support group called Bright Point was formed to fill the need of friends. But when people came together, no one talked. It was only after games were introduced as a catalyst that friendships started forming. Later, making meals and exercising was added successfully.
The program is not without challenges. Many lonely people may feel intimidated and won't attend. But designating a space for gathering and activities is a good step toward tackling loneliness.
We crave intimacy. And yet, long before the present pandemic, with its forced isolation and social distancing, humans had begun building their own separate cells.
Before modern times, very few human beings lived alone.
Loneliness, according to many experts, is not necessarily about being alone. Instead, if you feel alone and isolated, then that is how loneliness plays into your state of mind.
For example, a college freshman might feel lonely despite being surrounded by roommates and other peers.
When people were forced into social isolation, a light was also shining on another crisis - loneliness.
The antidote to loneliness is accessible to all of us: friendship. The shared global crisis has showed how significant friends are to our day-to-day happiness.