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News and Updates

A Gift of Presence

On May 15, 2021, we were offering a 24-hour conversation marathon. Where different volunteers are hosting Google Meet. This virtual living room was a place, where you will feel friendliness, inclusiveness, heard, valued, and respected.

After a long winter of social restriction, many people see the spring of 2021 with optimism and excitement. They are looking forward to reconnecting with friends and family and feel hopeful about life in the near future. Others may not share their level of enthusiasm. They may actually feel even more stressed, anxious, and socially pressured this year. The way through the fear and loneliness can begin with a conversation in the safe, inclusive environment offered by our experienced volunteers.

Categories
News and Updates

A Reminder

Categories
News and Updates

A Present of Presence

“Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healing. A circle of friends. Someplace where we can be free."

-Starhawk (Miriam Simos)

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Greater Vancouver, BC: Receive and give ” Present of Presence” on December 25th starting at 12:00 AM to 11:45 PM (PST). Beyond The Conversation is hosting a 24-hour campaign encouraging everyone to “give a gift of conversation and friendship.” Heart-to-heart across Canada is invited. Register to EventBrite.

 

Details: Our virtual, Open Talk Cafes, are known for inclusivity, bringing people together and facilitating honest conversations built on trust. It is an open space where participants can find a place to belong, to be listened to, and to learn from one another. Anyone seeking quality human connections and a sense of belonging is invited to join. Beyond The Conversation facilitators are not healthcare professionals; we do not give advice of any sort and we are not a replacement for any medical services. If anyone needs medical services, please see your family doctor or call 911 (112 in Europe).

 

Please note: Beyond The Conversation facilitators are not healthcare professionals; we do not give advice of any sort and we’re not a replacement for any medical services. If anyone needs medical services, please see your family doctor or call 911 (112 in Europe).

 

At this event you can expect a warm and friendly conversation, often laughter, with friends you just met. Our cafe hosts are trained in communication and leadership skills and you can be assured the hosts will treat you with kindness and respect. Lastly, yes, you can be anonymous if this is your preference, and you can join by phone if you do not have access to a computer.

 

To continue our local impact we are collecting suggested donations of $5. 

 

With our sincere thanks!

Amie Peacock

Categories
News and Updates

You Are Not Alone

Hands-Photo-Article-Candace

 

The majority of us will feel some degree of social isolation and loneliness over the course of our lives. Sadly for many people, the depth and duration to which they experience social isolation and loneliness will have a significant impact on their physical and mental wellbeing.

A recent study conducted by the Angus Reid Institute found 62% of Canadians reported they would like more time with their friends and family, and a staggering 1 in 5 Canadians reported feeling very lonely.

While many of our elderly population suffer significantly from loss and loneliness, those younger than fifty are more likely to report loneliness than those aged fifty and older. Social isolation and loneliness do not discriminate by age, gender identity, marital status, ethnicity, location or income, and can affect anyone in any demographic of society.

We are social beings hard-wired for a sense of belonging, and social connection is a universal, basic, human need. When that need is not met it can result in a host of physical, mental and cognitive impairments.

A large body of evidence has emerged over the past four decades of research, connecting social isolation and loneliness to worse cardiovascular and mental health outcomes. Meta-analytic data indicates experiencing loneliness can increase the risk for earlier death by as much as 26%.

As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • The risk of premature death posed by social isolation rivals those of smoking, obesity and physical inactivity

  • Social isolation is associated with about a 50% increased risk of dementia

  • Social isolation and loneliness is associated with a 29% increased risk of heart disease and a 32% increased risk of stroke

  • Loneliness is associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety and suicide.

If you are suffering from social isolation or loneliness, you are not alone. Contact us. If you are concerned about the impacts social isolation and loneliness have on our community, join us.

Beyond the Conversation is a non-profit organization formed to alleviate social isolation and loneliness by building community and friendship. We are a team of committed volunteers offering action-based solutions such as open talk cafes led by hosts trained in communication and leadership skills. We also host events and forums designed to de-stigmatize loneliness, raise awareness and provide a thriving community of engagement and connection for participants and volunteers.

“Loneliness and isolation only impact those that stand alone. Let’s try to make sure no one has to.”

(Quote by Aarya Tamrakar, Beyond the Conversation)

 

Resources:

A Portrait of Social Isolation and Loneliness in Canada Today. June 17, 2019 http://angusreid.org/social-isolation- loneliness-canada/

2020 US Report: To further explore the impact of loneliness, in our culture and in our workplaces. https:// www.cigna.com/static/www-cigna-com/docs/about-us/newsroom/studies-and-reports/combatting-loneliness/ cigna-2020-loneliness-factsheet.pdf

Is Mitigating social Isolation a Planning Priority for British Columbia (Canada) Municipalities? http://www.bccdc.ca/ Our-Services-Site/Documents/Social_Isolation_Report_17Sept2019.pdf

An overview of systematic reviews on the public health consequences of social isolation and loneliness. November 2017 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0033350617302731?via%3Dihub

Loneliness and Social Isolation Linked to Serious Health Conditions, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/aging/publications/features/lonely-older-adults.html

Social Isolation and Health, Health Policy Brief, by Julianne Holt-Lunstad June 22, 2020 https:// www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hpb20200622.253235/full/