Social connectedness is the degree to which people engage and interact with others. It can occur at the individual level, emphasising the quality and quantity of connections amongst an individual with others in their social circle. It can also occur at the community level where it relates to the level of connection one has with their community.
Loneliness affects everyone at some point. Loneliness is normal signal that informs us that our social needs are unmet. Loneliness is subjective and can occur even if we are not alone. For some people it may be a transient feeling and for others it may more persistent. Current research indicates that loneliness leads to poorer mental health and physical health outcomes. People who are lonely are more likely to die earlier and report more co-morbid health problems. Many people with mental health difficulties also experience loneliness.