Healthy Body

Feeling lonely: An epidemic of isolation has expanded area mental health needs

Greensburg resident John Herrmann has a suppertime appointment each Thursday at the city’s Otterbein United Methodist Church.

Helping to hand out meals to those in need during the weekly Feeding the Spirit program there helps him in his ongoing efforts to form and maintain positive connections in the community.

Herrmann, 66, said that when he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder more than three decades ago, it made him feel isolated from others.

“I thought I was the only one with this,” he said. “I was very lonely. I didn’t know where to turn or really understand what was going on.”

A new epidemic of loneliness and isolation has affected many others across the country, with serious implications for their physical and mental health, according to a recent advisory issued by U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy.

About half of U.S. adults have reported experiencing measurable levels of loneliness, according

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