Jakob Forssmed included in new WHO Commission on Social Connection
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced a new global Commission on Social Connection. The aim of the Commission is to spotlight the public health problem of loneliness and involuntary isolation and make it a priority. Minister for Social Affairs and Public Health Jakob Forssmed has been included among the twelve Commissioners – the only one from Europe.
“Loneliness is a societal problem with major and serious health consequences for individuals. It shortens and worsens people’s lives. By creating this new Commission, the WHO is underlining the fact that loneliness is a global health problem and emphasising that we need to meet the human need for connection through a variety of measures. I am delighted and proud to have been invited to be a Commissioner, as the only representative from Europe. The Commission will play an important role in efforts to tackle the societal challenge of loneliness and involuntary isolation,” says Mr Forssmed.
The Commission is a three-year initiative and is due to conclude in January 2027. It will consist of twelve Commissioners, including government ministers and key figures from civil society and the private sector. They will be supported by an expert group, as well as a secretariat based in Geneva, Switzerland, to carry out the day-to-day work. In its first two years, the Commission will focus on a global agenda on social connection covering three areas:
- Improved methods to support a global index to measure loneliness and social isolation.
- Gathering and spreading knowledge of evidence-based solutions.
- Increasing awareness of the issue, including by supporting the production of a documentary on social isolation and loneliness in different countries.
The Commission will meet twice a year.