Our Mission to Connect Our Community

Over the last several years, researchers, funders, and nonprofit organizations like TrueNorth have increased their focus on the issues of social isolation and loneliness. Recognizing the vital need for human connection, our Community Connections programs are an effort to combat these issues in Newaygo County.

What is Social Isolation?
There is objective & subjective social isolation. Objective social isolation is living in an area with very low population density. Subjective social isolation is feeling lonely, not supported, and missing meaningful relationships regardless of where you live. The frequency of social isolation is significantly higher in rural, elderly, and low-income populations, though it can affect anyone, anywhere, as we all saw during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are well-documented, dangerous effects of painful loneliness and lack of meaningful connection to others. Social isolation significantly increases a person’s risk of premature death from all causes, a risk that may rival those of smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity. Social isolation is associated with about a 50% increased risk of dementia. Loneliness is associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide. At TrueNorth, we are committed to reducing social isolation and improving lives in Newaygo County.