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Drive against loneliness in busy country starts with ‘hello’

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

AMSTELVEEN – Densely populated the Netherlands likely has one million lonely people, project organizers estimate. Thirteen groups have formed a coalition to create awareness of this social problem, which it is hoped will prevent and lessen loneliness. The coalition will study the issue and create programs to combat loneliness, deemed important to maintain an acceptable social climate in society. They maintain that loneliness is not restricted to the ranks of the aged and the handicapped but that it also affects people in every age group, possibly including family. The launch of the coalition was attended by Jet Bussemaker, the junior minister at Public Health. The first step at combating loneliness is very inexpensive and does not require extensive training: just say ‘hello’ to others!