Connecting with others and a feeling of belonging are important to your mental health. Social isolation and loneliness are concerns that can affect every part of your health and well-being.
Social isolation happens when you’re physically alone and have little or no contact with other people. It can be for a long time or a short time.
Loneliness is feeling that you’re alone, empty, or separated from others. You can feel lonely even when you have lots of people around you.
Social isolation and loneliness may happen on their own. You can be socially isolated but not lonely, or you can feel lonely even when you’re with other people.
They can also be related. When you aren’t around others for a long time, it can cause you to feel very lonely. Or you may feel lonely, which makes it hard for you to connect with others and leads to social isolation.
Social isolation and loneliness can affect your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. They can lead to health problems like heart disease, mental health concerns such as depression and dementia, and early death.
Social isolation and loneliness can affect anyone, regardless of age, income, gender, religious beliefs, or what you do for work. But you may be at higher risk if you:
Here are some ways you can prevent social isolation and loneliness for yourself and others:
Current as of: January 6, 2022
Author: Addiction and Mental Health, Alberta Health Services
This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.