Addressing challenges of urban living and loneliness

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Most of us have experienced loneliness in some form or the other and more so during the Covid lockdowns. As people navigate their way towards growth and success, they find themselves ‘busy’ and others around them ‘unavailable’.

This urban existence with its multidimensional challenges has led to an upsurge in experiencing loneliness and taking stock of the issue remains crucial.

To this extent, “Alone In The crowd: Overcoming Loneliness of Urban Living” (Rupa) by mental health Experts Dr Samir Parikh and Kamna Chhibber go beyond highlighting the existence of the problem to enlisting ways in the midst of the current pandemic, can be tackled.

Encouraging readers to concurrently focus on the need to live mindfully, this book also highlights key learnings from the pandemic.

“We recognize that there is a growing disconnect that many people experience within their families, communities and workplaces. This has a strong negative impact on their sense of well-being and can be a precursor towards the development of mental health related problems,” Parikh, Director, Department of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Fortis Healthcare, said.

“As a result, it is critically important that we emphasize the development of approaches to combat this state of loneliness,” he added.

“The book has been written to help develop a comprehensive understanding of where loneliness can stem from and the ways in which people can engage in caring for themselves, while focusing on living more mindfully in the urban spaces they occupy,” Chhibber, Head, Department of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Fortis Healthcare, said.

“Research suggests that loneliness in the longer run can affect the mental health of people. It’s time that people and societies come forward to discuss about the much-ignored issue, which has engulfed the society be it children, adolescents, adults and the old generation. A multi-stakeholder approach needs to be adopted to reduce the growing burden of mental health which stems from loneliness and other related issues,” she added.

Releasing the book Dr Ashutosh Raghuvanshi, CEO & MD, Fortis Healthcare said: “In today’s time, particularly given the context of the pandemic, we recognise the huge detrimental impact that loneliness can have upon people by impacting their mental health. It is critical that people, individuals and communities, take active steps and measures to understand and assess this growing problem and go beyond simply acknowledging it in the direction of inculcating proactive measures to tackle it effectively.”

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