LOS ANGELES, CA – Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, First District, released the following statement after the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved her motion on launching a Los Angeles County Social Connectivity Initiative:

“The increase in loneliness is almost paradoxical. We are more connected than ever through technology, but it is clear that social media cannot replace relationships with family, friends, and community. Studies show that millions of Americans are socially isolated, lonely, or both, negatively impacting the quality of life and health outcomes. With President Joseph R. Biden’s appointment of Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, there is an opportunity to tackle this issue head on. His recent book, Together, made a strong case for why loneliness is a public health issue – it contributes to and worsens epidemics like drug addition and violence. As we begin to repair our social safety net with the promise of Build Back Better, we find an unmatched opportunity here at the County to see how we can ensure our residents have a sense of community, whether its through activities at our beautiful parks or senior centers or support from the Department of Mental Health, this County can work to ensure our residents are connected to their neighbors and others. It is my hope and expectation that this motion does just that.”

The motion approved today directs the County’s Chief Executive Office (CEO), in collaboration with various County departments, the Alliance for Health Integration, and interested stakeholders, to initiate a Los Angeles County Social Connectivity Initiative and report back within 90 days with a landscape analysis that defines which County residents and population groups are most likely to experience harms from loneliness and social isolation, as well as the current roles and responsibilities of County departments and agencies relative to populations most likely to experience harm from loneliness and social isolation. Additionally, the motion requests that the report back outline the appropriate next steps needed to create a comprehensive Countywide plan to combat the harms of social isolation and loneliness, including but not limited to recommendations for stakeholder engagement, public awareness campaigns, collaboration with external partners like school districts, cities, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, and philanthropy, an initial view of available federal and state funding to support the work, and recommendations on what County department or departments should lead the development of the comprehensive plan.

To view the full motion, click here.