CDC Social Connectedness Efforts

CDC funds partners to improve community social connectedness as part of its work to achieve health equity. CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) aims to address five areas of social determinants of health (SDOH) that are strongly tied to chronic disease conditions and communities that are most affected. Social connectedness is an SDOH that NCCDPHP has identified related to the Healthy People 2030 SDOH goals.

Navajo tribal family members at Monument Rock.

Building Resilient Inclusive Communities is a CDC program that provides funding to states to promote healthy living and reduce social isolation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is a collaboration between CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, Division of Population Health, and the Center for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support. It is implemented by the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors. The program aims to improve safe access to physical activity, promote healthy eating through improved nutrition security, and to improve social connectedness in communities.

Healthy Aging

CDC addresses the connection between social isolation, loneliness, and dementias, including Alzheimer’s disease, as well as supporting the emotional well-being of caregivers, and ways to identify and seek care for depression.

Walk with Ease (WWE) is a group program that combines self-paced walks with discussions about health-related topics. WWE is available in other formats including a Self-Directed Program and Remote Delivery.

Dr. Craig Thomas, CDC Director, Division of Population Health is featured in this podcast, “Social Isolation and Loneliness Among Older Adults and What You Can Do to Help.”

Healthy Tribes

CDC funds 36 Tribes and Urban Indian Health Centers through the Tribal Practices for Wellness in Indian Country Program, which encourages and supports tribal practices that build resiliency and connections to community, family, and culture for improved physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health and well-being within American Indian and Alaska Native communities. A valuable strategy in promoting well-being is increasing sense of belonging to tribe, sense of connection to culture, and intergenerational interactions.

How Right Now

How Right Now is a communication campaign designed to promote and strengthen the emotional well-being and resilience of communities. It has had positive effects on community engagement and resilience.

School Connectedness

Increasing school connectedness and the feeling of belonging and engagement within the school community can have positive effects on students’ health and well-being.

  • Visit CDC’s Healthy Schools page to learn about strategies to improve student social and emotional well-being and school connectedness.
  • Visit CDC’s toolkit for schools to engage parents in supporting school connectedness and student well-being. Visit CDC’s What Works in Schools Program to learn how schools can promote safe and supportive environments that increase school connectedness.

Suicide Prevention Resource for Action

Promoting healthy connections among individuals and within communities is one of the seven major strategies included in CDC’s comprehensive suicide prevention program. Connectedness and social capital together may protect against suicidal behaviors by decreasing isolation and encouraging adaptive coping behaviors.

The Star Collection

The Star Collection books for young American Indian and Alaska Native readers features and celebrates feeling connected to culture and community and having positive relationships with others that are safe, stable, and nurturing.