THe Loneliness Epidemic
Brazos Press 2021
What makes people lonely? And how can Christian communities better minister to the lonely? In The Loneliness Epidemic, behavioral scientist and researcher Susan Mettes explores those questions and more.
Guided by current research from Barna Group, Mettes illustrates the profound physical, emotional, and social toll of loneliness in our country. Surprisingly, her research shows that it is not the oldest Americans but the youngest adults who are loneliest, and that social media can actually play a positive role in alleviating loneliness. Mettes highlights the role that belonging, friendship, closeness, and expectations play in preventing it. She also offers meaningful ways the church can minister to lonely people, going far beyond simplistic solutions--like helping them meet new people--to addressing their inner lives and the God who understands them.
With practical and highly applicable tips, this book is an invaluable tool for anyone--ministry leaders, parents, friends--trying to help someone who feels alone. Readers will emerge better able to deal with their own loneliness and to help alleviate the loneliness of others. Foreword by Barna Group president David Kinnaman.
About Susan Mettes
My career hasn't been straightforward, but it certainly has had an orientation: understanding people for their good. I see my experience in behavioral economics, writing, research, survey design and analysis, travel, journalism, public policy, and teaching as opportunities for listening to, connecting, and benefiting people.
I love making sense of complex research, writing about it so that that non-researchers can understand its implications. And I really love getting the story right.