Dr. Charles Benight Discusses Connection and Loneliness with NAMI's Lori Jarvis

Dr. Charles "Chip" Benight sitting on stairs


In their recent Op-Ed published in the Colorado Springs Gazette, Dr. Charles Benight, Executive Director of the Lyda Hill Institute for Human Resilience at UCCS, and Lori Jarvis of NAMI Colorado Springs, shed light on a crucial aspect of mental health that often goes unnoticed: the power of connections in combating the loneliness epidemic. Their piece emphasizes a shift in focus from treating mental illness to promoting mental wellness, highlighting the importance of investing in initiatives like the City of Colorado Springs’ 1,000 Neighborhood Gatherings.

The article underscores how loneliness, declared an "epidemic" by U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, acts as a catalyst for various mental and physical health issues. Yet, it also offers hope by emphasizing the antidote: connection. Dr. Benight and Lori Jarvis commend Mayor Yemi Mobolade, First Lady Abbey Mobolade, City Councilman David Leinweber, and city staff for recognizing loneliness as a quality-of-life issue and championing the role of the city in fostering connections within communities.

Their acknowledgment extends beyond mere appreciation; it's a call to action. By recognizing the collaborative efforts between organizations like theirs and the city, Dr. Benight and Lori Jarvis emphasize the potential for breaking down barriers and building a stronger, more connected community. Their message resonates with the shared vision of creating a support network that uplifts individuals, mitigating the adverse effects of isolation and loneliness. Through initiatives like GRIT and the support programs offered by NAMI Colorado Springs, they pave the way for a community-driven approach to mental wellness.

To read the article in the Gazette, visit https://gazette.com/denver-gazette/guest-column-the-power-of-connections-can-fight-the-loneliness-epidemic/article_f250b698-0892-11ef-98ef-8301cfa10757.html


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