Have your say: Is isolation and loneliness the new normal in Vancouver?

Vancouverites are being invited to talk about their feelings – in particular, feelings of loneliness and isolation in the city...

Vancouverites are being invited to talk about their feelings – in particular, feelings of loneliness and isolation in the city.

Joyce Murray, MP for Vancouver Quadra, is hosting an MP Breakfast Connections event later this month in the hope residents will join in on a conversation on how to reduce loneliness and isolation in Vancouver and make the City a friendlier place.

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In a press release, Murray highlighted that in 2012, a multilingual Vancouver Foundation survey found Metro Vancouver residents were finding it difficult to make friends, that neighbourhoods are friendly but lack lasting and meaningful social connections, and that there is a decline in community participation.

It stated a follow-up survey in 2017 found similar themes.

“Feelings of loneliness and isolation are especially prevalent among younger people, and those with lower incomes or experiencing unemployment,” the release stated.

“Health and psychology experts have long found that long-term feelings of loneliness can undermine mental health, contributing to depression and addiction. Loneliness can also drastically affect physical health. Those who are chronically lonely have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and weaker immune systems.”

Tesicca Truong, co-founder of CityHive, a non-profit organization on a mission to transform the way that young people are engaged in the planning, decision-making, and shaping of their cities, will be a guest speaker at the breakfast.

She will discuss the theme, ‘Isolation and Loneliness in Vancouver: Is This the New Normal?’

The morning discussion will cover a number of questions:

• How can individuals and organizations help create and strengthen networks of real, meaningful connections, especially for the vulnerable?
• Can we change Vancouver’s reputation as an unfriendly city?
• How does a stronger sense of connection and belonging impact our willingness to act on climate change, poverty reduction, and other community challenges?

Truong is a passionate advocate for youth empowerment, citizen engagement, and community building. She also co-founded several initiatives, including Vancouver Youth4Tap, a Vancouver-wide movement to promote tap water over bottled water, and Vancouver School Board Sustainability Conference.

She is a sustainability activist, a serial change-maker, and an engagement innovator.

Event details:

Date: Friday April 26, 2019
Time: 7:30 am - Registration + Buffet Breakfast
7:50 - 8:45 Speaker and Q and A
Location: Aphrodite Restaurant - 3605 West 4th Ave.
Cost: The cost of the breakfast is $25 / $10 for students. (Cash only at the door)
Please RSVP to joyce.murray.c1c@parl.gc.ca or by calling 604-664-9220.

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