(NAPSI)—There is a public health threat looming across the United States that’s not visible to most but affects nearly half of all Americans daily: loneliness. Social isolation is as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and is twice as harmful as obesity. Worst of all, loneliness is a contributing factor in senior suicides, which are rising in the U.S. While it is not something people like to think about, now more than ever, Americans must remove the stigma around mental health and spread awareness to better combat loneliness.
Many of the 12 million Americans over age 65 who live alone are entering the time of year where that lack of companionship and isolation is most palpable: winter. Whether physical or travel challenges keep seniors from attending family gatherings or the harsh weather deters them from venturing out for a social event, seniors can suffer from prolonged loneliness that can quickly manifest into more serious issues.