Loneliness NZ

Global Initiative on Loneliness and Connection (GILC)

The Global Initiative on Loneliness and Connection was established on 24th May, 2021. The GILC is comprised of representatives of national organizations committed to addressing the  pressing global issues of loneliness and social isolation and to support the dissemination of system-wide, national approaches to building social connection.

Loneliness New Zealand holds the NZ seat on the GILC Steering Committee.

As members of the GILC and global community at large, our mission is to support current and future generations to have a positive and meaningful social identity and sense of connection to their families, friends, and communities, thereby reducing the prevalence, incidence, and negative impacts of loneliness and social isolation.

GILC’s objectives are to:

  1. Increase awareness of loneliness and social isolation as important social, economic, and health issues.
  2. Advocate for the issues of loneliness and social isolation to be embedded in all sectors of public policy, research, and planning;
  3. Take collective action to develop, disseminate, and support nations in systemically implementing evidence and tools to combat loneliness and social isolation effectively; and
  4. Serve as a centralized resource and information sharing hub to support the attainment of these goals.

Launch of GILC

GILC was launched with a global webinar.  Participants were inspired by those international leaders now placing ‘profound importance’ on addressing loneliness and social isolation—recognised as a significant health issue for the 21st Century. 

Participants heard views from a number of prominent people, including:

  • Dr Vivek Murthy, US Surgeon General
  • Baroness Barran, UK Minister for Loneliness
  • Dr Naoko Yamamoto, Assistant Director-General, World Health Organisation (WHO)
  • Dr Fiona Martin, Member of Parliament, Australia

Loneliness NZ CEO, Cathy Comber, facilitated one of the break-out groups during the webinar, where participants discussed what would help them further their goals to address loneliness.

Founding members of GILC