Raising awareness about loneliness - nationwide survey of Americans
by Sean Seepersad
(Hartford, CT, USA)
Loneliness I am Invisible
The Problem of Loneliness
My name is Sean Seepersad. I have been raising awareness, researching, and working with lonely people for over a decade - published academic articles, done presentations, went on the news, developed an intervention program, and established the Web of Loneliness. I have been driven for the better part of my life to help those who feel lonely. People like Anna, Steven, Jessica, and Harry below who deal with the torment of loneliness and the inability to do anything about it.
Anna is a teenage girl that is very isolated at her high school. She wears long pants and long sleeves to cover up the many scars on her arms and legs that she has because of cutting. Being lonely is so painful and the release she gets from cutting helps ease this unbearable pain.
Steven just moved away from home to attend college. He's had friends at his home town and never felt very lonely. However, after moving to college, he found himself having a hard time adjusting. He could not make friends despite his best efforts and spent many days alone on campus. Steven found himself retreating from everything, his grades began to drop, he drank more, and become very irritable. He could see what is happening but felt so trapped by his feelings of loneliness.
Jessica is 40 and just recently divorced. Her husband decided to leave for another woman and left Jessica with her two kids. Jessica had sacrificed her career and furthering her education to be a stay-at-home mom while her husband worked. With the divorce, Jessica found herself forced to find a low-paying job that will at least cover some of the bills. She has no support from her family, which has always been dysfunctional, and feels so very alone. She loves her kids dearly, but it is not enough to ward off the overwhelming feeling of loneliness that burdens her every day.
Harry is an 80 year old senior. Due to his failing health, he has been put into a nursing home to help take care of his medical needs. His children and his family will come to see him at least once a month, but between those times, he finds himself very alone. The nursing staff are friendly enough, but he cannot connect with him and often has no one to talk to. He has never felt as lonely as he has now.
Loneliness comes from many different experiences but feels the same way. It is related to a vast array of other issues such as depression, suicide, low self-esteem, high blood pressure, and obesity. And yet, no one wishes to talk about it or what to do about it. Admitting you are lonely is one of the worst things you can do in society - you might as well just admit you are a failure. However, there are a lot of people in America, and around the world, that feel lonely. This project is aimed at raising awareness of the issue of loneliness by showing just how pervasive it is in American society and just how much it impacts the lives of these lonely individuals, like those of Anna, Steven, Jessica, and Harry. It is a core problem that needs to be addressed and with your help, we can make it happen!
How Are We Going To Raise Awareness About Loneliness?
It is a two-fold process.
First, we need to put numbers to the amount of Americans that feel lonely. We need to show quite conclusively that loneliness affects many Americans and that it is a core problem for them. To do so, this project will pay for a research company to conduct a nationally representative telephone survey. These survey projects are not cheap, hence the reason for the big ask. But if we do it this way, we can say quite conclusively just how many Americans feel lonely and how it impacts their lives. It will not be a matter of opinion, it will be a fact.
Second, we need to market the results of the survey. Just cause we get great numbers from conducting the survey, does not mean that everyone will hear the message. The results of the survey, I know, will make a big impact. But the message needs to be packaged and distributed to media outlets that will spread the message for us, and raise the dialog about loneliness onto the national stage. To do this well, we will need the services of a marketing company, one that can package the message well and then sell it to media outlets.
Contribute here: http://igg.me/at/wolsurvey/x/5899228