Community & Care

Community Is Care

Research shows that having support from others, as well as a sense of mission and purpose in life is linked to healthier immune cells. Working for a social cause or purpose with others who share your values and are trusted partners puts you in contact with others and helps develop a greater sense of community.”

And this is why building community is a critical part of what we do.

Loneliness Hurts Your Health

Science tells us that loneliness is bad for your health and that those most vulnerable include older adults, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals, Black, indigenous and other people of color, and victims of trauma.

This is who COPE serves.

A report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine states:

  • Social isolation significantly increased a person’s risk of premature death from all causes, a risk that may rival those of smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity.
  • Social isolation was associated with about a 50% percent increased risk of dementia.
  • Poor social relationships (characterized by social isolation or loneliness) were associated with a 29% increased risk of heart disease and a 32% increased risk of stroke.
  • Loneliness was associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide.
  • Loneliness among heart failure patients was associated with a nearly 4 times increased risk of death, 68% increased risk of hospitalization, and 57% increased risk of emergency department visits.

“Loneliness acts as a fertilizer for other diseases. The biology of loneliness can accelerate the buildup of plaque in arteries, help cancer cells grow and spread, and promote inflammation in the brain leading to Alzheimer’s disease. Loneliness promotes several different types of wear and tear on the body. People who feel lonely may also have weakened immune cells that have trouble fighting off viruses, which makes them more vulnerable to some infectious diseases.”

Dr. Steve Cole, Director of the Social Genomics Core Laboratory at the University of California, Los Angeles