Is Loneliness The Overlooked Social Determinant?

NYAPRS Note: Last week, Open Minds’ Sarah Threnhauser concluded asked “Is “loneliness” the next big SDH (social determinant of health) and concluded that “I think it’s only a matter of time before “social health”—focused on “social activities, social well-being, social network quality, interpersonal communication, social support, and social role participation and satisfaction” —becomes a big part of this conversation (see Evaluating a Measure of Social Health Derived from Two Mental Health Recovery Measures: The California Quality of Life and Mental Health Statistics Improvement Program Consumer Survey). See the original article at

WRAP creator Mary Ellen Copeland has offered a number of resources to address loneliness:

Making and Keeping Friends: A Self-Help Guide. Recovering Your Mental Health Series.

Copeland, Mary Ellen

People seem to have a natural need for friends. Friends increase enjoyment of life, relieve feelings of loneliness, and can help reduce stress and improve ones health. Having good friends is especially helpful when one is going through any kind of hard time: experiencing anxiety or panic attacks; depression, phobias, or delusional thinking; living with a serious illness or disability; having major surgery; having a loss in ones life; or just being under a lot of stress. At times like these, good friends can make all the difference. This self-help booklet contains information, ideas, and strategies that have been found to be helpful in relieving and preventing troubling feelings and symptoms. The information in this booklet can be used safely along with other health care treatment. (GCP) See attached (sorry for the poor quality)

WRAP and Loneliness

In this webinar, Sherri Rushman, Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator, will guide attendees through the process of identifying support related Wellness Tools and then using those tools to build a powerful WRAP. "Everyone needs friends we can talk to, pals to share activities with, and people we can depend on.

This training is based on Mary Ellen Copeland's "The Loneliness Workbook" and we will explore: definitions of loneliness, images of loneliness, what loneliness means to you, why people may avoid you, how to use wellness tools to relieve loneliness, how to enjoy time alone, looking at your strengths, and how to have mutual relationships."
Sherri Rushman is Consumer Education Specialist at Oakland County Community Mental Health Authority in Michigan. Sherri brought WRAP to her organization after seeing Mary Ellen Copeland speak at a conference and just knowing it would help so many. She became a WRAP Facilitator in 2004 and trained as an Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator in 2007.

This webinar was live on December 5, 2012


 WRAP and Loneliness 12-5-12


 WRAP Plan for Loneliness

 WRAP and Loneliness Power Point Slides