Loneliness epidemic in Utah: Crisis text line reports higher than national average for texters seeking help
The United States is currently facing a crisis of loneliness, and the state of Utah is no exception. In fact, the numbers in Utah are higher than the national average, and this crisis is having a severe impact on the mental health of Americans. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) conducted a study that found that over one-third of adults aged 45 years and older feel lonely, while nearly one-fourth of adults aged 65 years and older are socially isolated.
To combat this epidemic, Americans are turning to the Crisis Text Line, a free 24/7 mental health support service that provides help via text. According to the national nonprofit, in 2021, 19.7% of texters reported issues with loneliness and isolation, but in Utah, that number was slightly higher at 20.1%.
The effects of loneliness and social isolation are well-documented, including an increased risk of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and suicide. It is important for individuals who are experiencing feelings of loneliness and isolation to seek help and support from services like the Crisis Text Line or other mental health resources.
The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the issue of loneliness and isolation, as many people were forced to isolate themselves from friends and family members. However, even before the pandemic, loneliness was already a significant problem in the United States. It is important for individuals, communities, and policymakers to recognize the severity of the loneliness epidemic and take action to address it.