While loneliness has no barriers – it can affect people of all ages and from all backgrounds - we are seeing unprecedented levels of loneliness amongst Gen Z and Millennials.
Although young people are often perceived as being socially connected, the reality is that they're battling a loneliness epidemic. This has been exacerbated by weeks of lockdown isolation which has taken its toll on the mental health of 16-34-year-olds in particular, raising concerns about what the long-term health risks may be.
Recent research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that younger people are more likely to have experienced loneliness than older generations during lockdown. This echoes our own research in which we discovered a whopping 97% of Gen Z and Millennials have experienced loneliness, 4 times more likely than those aged 70+.
We know that the health effects of loneliness can be devastating. It is worse for you than obesity and as bad as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. When we asked our Cosmopolitan audience, two-thirds agreed that loneliness has made them feel anxious and/or depressed. Clearly, we must act now, to overcome this epidemic for generations to come.
With this in mind, and to mark Loneliness Awareness Week, we are launching a pioneering Purpose initiative called ‘Project Connect’.? This will be one of the biggest editorial-driven initiatives ever taken out to market, powered by groundbreaking research, videos, podcasts, influencers, virtual events and social content.
This initiative combines the formidable power of Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, Men’s Health and ELLE to drive awareness and acknowledgement of the loneliness issue and instil the confidence needed for younger people to take action and work toward easing their feelings of increasing loneliness.
'Project Connect' will also see Hearst break new ground by creating and helping facilitate a network of micro-communities - our 'GATHER' initiative is designed to bring people together through shared passions. Enabling them to connect with likeminded people in a supportive, engaging and positive environment.
Download our infographic to find out more about 'Project Connect' and how you can get involved with this ground-breaking initiative.
Download our infographic to find out more about 'Project Connect' and how you can get involved