مشکل جدی تنهایی در کانادا – مقاله تورنتو استار در مورد ضرروت راهکارهای پایه ای دولت Governments should tackle growing problem of loneliness

مشکل جدی تنهایی در کانادا – مقاله تورنتو استار در مورد ضرروت راهکارهای پایه ای دولت
ایرکانیوز- مشکل تنهایی در جامعه ایرانی در کانادا نیز چه جوانان و چه سالمندان ، جدی هست جامعه ایرانی از امکانات مراکز دولتی و یا توسط جامعه ایرانی علیرغم اینکه رضا مریدی 10 سال هست در دولت لیبرال انتاریو هست و دو نماینده فدرال در دو سال گذشته برخوردار نیست ..
ااخبار ایرانیان کانادا irca news- یکشنبه 21 ژانویه 2018 – 1 بهمن 96
Governments should tackle growing problem of loneliness
Loneliness is a real issue that is eating up healthcare dollars and causing millions untold misery.
 
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May has named a minister for loneliness to fight the condition.
 
By STAR EDITORIAL BOARD
Sun., Jan. 21, 2018

At first blush the news that British Prime Minister Theresa May has named a “minister for loneliness” might appear rather odd. Addressing loneliness, after all, doesn’t usually top any list of government priorities.

In fact, May’s announcement that one of her ministers will lead a government-wide group to establish policies to fight loneliness is both sensible and long overdue.

One of the biggest challenges with addressing loneliness is that it is such a stigmatized condition that few want to talk about it or even admit to feeling it.

Despite that, more and more people in modern societies, Canada every bit as much as Britain, suffer from it. Aside from the misery it causes, it’s putting enormous pressure on health care systems.

In Britain, for example, research has found that more than 9 million people often or always feel lonely. One survey found that 360,000 people over 65 had not had a conversation with friends or family for a week, while 200,000 hadn’t had one in more than a month.

Loneliness doesn’t just afflict the elderly. One of the people who suffered from it was the late British MP Jo Cox, who before she was murdered in 2016 set up the cross-party commission that worked with the British Red Cross to “shine a spotlight on the problem.” Her sister reports that Cox first felt loneliness at university.

That is, apparently, not unusual. Indeed, a 2016 survey found that two-thirds of Canadian university students admitted to feeling “very lonely” in the previous year. Overall, about 20 per cent of Canadian adults experience loneliness, according to Andrew Wister, director of the Gerontology Research Centre at Simon Fraser University. In the U.S. the estimate is even higher – 40 per cent.

The research also suggests that loneliness can, quite literally, kill you.

It’s worse for one’s health than smoking 15 cigarettes a day, is as dangerous as obesity, and increases the likelihood of an early death by 26 per cent. Former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy argued in the Harvard Business Review last year that loneliness is associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia, depression and anxiety.

It’s a real issue and it’s getting worse. We can expect modern living arrangements, the fragmentation of traditional communities, and the breakdown of extended families to exacerbate the problem.

For example, Canada’s most recent census found that people living alone accounted for 28 per cent all households in 2016. They were, in fact, the most common type of households for the first time that year, ahead of couples with or without children, single-parent families, multiple family households and all other combinations of people living together.

At the same time, people are staying single longer. Data in Quebec, for example, shows the average age of a first marriage for a man in 2016 was 33.4 years and 31.9 for women — a rise of 7.8 years for men and 8.5 for women since 1971.

Even the move to shopping online can isolate people and give them less opportunity to interact with others, say the experts.

But there’s also help online. Toronto graphic designer Marissa Korda, for example, launched a website called The Loneliness Project featuring stories from people who suffered from the condition so they would know they aren’t alone.

There are many things that can be done. One emerging solution is seniors’ residences that offer students apartments at low rents to encourage them to move in and mix with the elderly. At Western University, music students can even get free accommodation and meals in exchange for spending 12 hours a week with seniors.

Then there’s the movement to just say “yes” to everything. The idea is to open oneself up to new experiences and avoid closing off from others. “Yes puts you in situations you’re not comfortable with and helps you get out there,” says Neil Pasricha, bestselling author of The Book of Awesome and The Happiness Equation.

Canada need not go so far as to create a ministry of loneliness. But governments can take a lead from May in other ways. In addition to naming a minister, she also announced that Britain’s version of Statistics Canada will establish a method of measuring loneliness and a fund will be set up to help the government and charities develop a wider strategy.

What’s clear is that too many people are suffering in silence. They need to know that they are, in fact, not alone and there are solutions. This is a real and growing issue that needs to be openly addressed.

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