Being lonely is not the same as being alone. You can be married, a member of a book club or a CEO and still be lonely. 1 out of 5 people are lonely and that number is increasing. Even though loneliness is not classified as a mental health disorder, it does affect our health and well-being like depression or anxiety do. In fact, Time Magazine recently ran a piece entitled, “Why Loneliness May Be The Next Big Public-Health Issue.” Clearly we need to take this seriously. Studies have shown that chronic loneliness increases mortality, inhibits one’s immune system, increases blood pressure, detrimentally impacts sleep patterns and has negative health consequences on a par with obesity, alcoholism and cigarette smoking. It’s even associated with dementia. Yet loneliness is not just an issue for seniors. In fact, nearly 60% of those aged 18-34 say they are lonely often or sometimes compared to 35% of those over 55. Please join us next Thursday to learn the causes and cure for being lonely.