It goes without saying that mental health issues were a pressing concern even before the pandemic hit, but job losses, social distancing protocols and other restrictions that put a halt to our normal social life have made it all the more difficult to fight feelings of hopelessness in these trying times.
In hopes of attacking the problem at its perceived source, the Japanese government has taken the bold step of appointing a cabinet member dedicated to the loneliness crisis.
Tetsushi Sakamoto, already in the government as the minister in charge of raising Japan's low birthrate and revitalizing regional economies, was appointed this month to the additional role. He has already announced plans for an emergency national forum to discuss the issue and share the testimony of lonely individuals.
They are the second country, after the U.K., to dedicate a cabinet member to the task.
Source: Big Think