Whether it's due to social distancing of just a consequence of age and social circumstance, feelings of isolation and loneliness can have profound effects on both young people and seniors. Studies have shown the correlation between loneliness and health outcomes, including feelings of depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.

In 2020, the Corporators and Auxiliary of Emerson Hospital hosted two webinars about the health implications of loneliness — one for the aging population and the other for parents.

The Connect Effect: An Online Discussion About Loneliness for Seniors

Panelists Sunita Hanjura, MD, Emerson Primary Care Associates of Bedford; Robert Pacl, LICSW, Emerson Hospital; Katharine Esty, PhD, author on aging well; and Kelsey Magnuson, community benefits coordinator at Emerson Hospital, discuss how loneliness and isolation in seniors can create barriers to well-being and then share resources on overcoming these obstacles.



Connected Youth: Loneliness in Children and Adolescents

Childhood and adolescence can be a time of creating healthy social connections. What happens when barriers arise? What are some warning signs that your child may be struggling and what can you do to help? In this discussion, panelists examine how loneliness in kids and adolescents can impact both physical and mental health, plus how to recognize symptoms and what resources are available in the community. Panelists include:

  • Amy Forrer, MD, Lincoln Physicians
  • Bretton Mulder, PsyD, director of teen and adult programs, MGH
  • Dr. Laurie Hunter, superintendent, Concord Public Schools and Concord-Carlisle Regional School District
  • Jennifer Hill, MSN, RN, director of emergency services, Emerson Hospital
  • A local high school student


Combating Loneliness Podcast

Another great resource is our Health Works Here Podcast episode “Combating Loneliness: Tips and Resources in the Time of COVID-19”. Listen as Bob Pacl, care management social worker at Emerson Hospital, shares tips and resources for those struggling with loneliness.

Subscribe to the Health Works Here Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and wherever podcasts can be heard.