The Surgeon General has declared that loneliness poses risks as deadly as smoking, also equating it to common human reactions such as hunger or thirst. Loneliness is considered an epidemic, with risk for premature death to levels comparable to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. As of March 2022, 61% of Gen Z admitted they feel lonely and 46% of Gen Z reported that their loneliness grew since the pandemic.
As the subject has emerged widely and rightfully, and in response to these worrying numbers, essie has launched a philanthropic initiative called "hands all in," in partnership with The Foundation for Art & Healing’s (FHA) Project UnLonely.
FAH created Project UnLonely to focus public awareness on the negative physical and mental health consequences of loneliness, while exploring and promoting creative arts-based approaches to address the impact. In partnership with essie, Colors & Connection, an artistic workshop, was implemented on college campuses across the country to connect students through the use of color, artmaking and story-sharing.
The workshops are held in-person in group settings and are rooted in color’s proven power of facilitating personal reflection, imagination, self-expression and connection.
While these efforts alone are only the tip of the iceberg of resolving the issue at hand, the hope is that incremental awareness is raised, and an easy-to-implement approach is afforded to those who can benefit from it.
To learn more about Project UnLonely and essie's involvement, visit artandhealing.org.
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