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Loneliness topic kicks off series designed to weather the storm as we move to the new normal
BetterHelp and Vator launched a new program series titled "Becoming Us." This series runs five months, with each month representing areas where people are struggling.
The idea came to me when we were running our Future of Mental and Behavioral Health virtual sessions. We held four of these sessions, which were riveting conversations around the rise of mental and behavioral health, the treatments and the business models, particularly in light of COVID-19.
Some questions, however, that resonated included "How are people coping with their time?" "What are we grateful for?" "What are the silver linings during this time of self-isolation?"
I was then asked if I could host other events that were more group discussions around areas people were struggling with, such as loneliness, parenting, and finding meaning during this time of disorientation and uncertainty.
I wrote a story titled: In this new normal, who do we become?
Here I admitted that COVID took away, at least for me, what I want, but given me time to pursue what I probably need. I was worried, as well, that as we get back to normal, "the fear of mortality may soon be replaced with the confidence of immortality" and that would cause us to go back to our former lives, without bringing what we learned forward.
My husband advised that I write a series that would chronicle our collective journey and call it "Becoming Us." I combined his advise with what was being asked of me by the Vator and Invent Health communities: to create a forum that helped us get to that new normal. That's how we came up with the "Becoming Us" program series. But we needed a partner that saw the need for such a program, and could also provide the therapists and counselors who could help facilitate this process. That's where BetterHelp came in to support us and to provide the counselors and therapists. BetterHelp also hosts "groupinars" where one counselor guides attendees along while attendees can share their own personal stories or just listen.
Group sessions for all
We then came up with the program format, similar to groupinars, in which a counselor would talk about the specific ailment with myself moderating the discussion. If anyone wanted to share their stories or ask questions, they could do so anonymously or in video. Or they could just sit back and listen to other like-minded people. Each month represents a specific topic. We'll host two sessions each month on that specific topic.
The first month is July and the first topic is "Loneliness."
Pre-COVID, a study in January of this year found that 60 percent of people in the US are lonely and our workplace culture may not be helping.
So for our sessions, the first and third Thursday of July, we'll cover the following:
What is loneliness? What's the impact on loneliness on individuals, families, friends and co-workers? How do we identify loneliness in others - maybe even our loved ones under our own roof? How can we identify it in ourselves? How can we redirect our perspective to not think about the "How do I get out of feeling lonely?" to "Why was I given this time to be alone?"
We hope this will be a positive experience and one in which our community can feel safe as we walk this road together.
If you'd like to join the BetterHelp and Vator program series, please register here.
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