Have a Happy and Safe Holiday Season!

December 22, 2023

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Dear Neighbor,

During this time of year, we celebrate the return of the light and many holidays – Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanza, Three Kings, New Years, and more. I hope these celebrations are occasions of joy and peace for you and your families.

The holidays can also be a lonely time, with memories of lost loved ones or broken relationships causing pain and sadness. In 2023, our Surgeon General recognized the impact of loneliness and issued an advisory, Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation: The U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory on the Healing Effects of Social Connection and Community.

During this year, as I have written to you about the work we do at the state level, I talk often about building communities that are healthy, safe, and strong. We do this through connections.

We have learned that social connection is critical to health. As your neighbor and state representative, I am committed to continuing to build those connections. The surgeon general has suggested 6 pillars to advance social connection. These are structural or systemic steps that work on the macro level. This is why I support walkable, bikeable communities, partnering with the public health sector, creating safety online, supporting civic education, developing service opportunities, and fostering respect and civility in public discourse.

At the individual level, we can reach out to those in our lives who might be lonely: a neighbor who lives alone, a family member who lost a spouse, a friend we have not spoken with in some time. This morning, I watched to this short video from the New York Times and was reminded to just pick up the phone and reach out.

Today, along with the folks from the 988 Lifeline I reach out to send love to all.

Please share this information with those who might find these resources and events helpful and of interest. You can also sign up for future e-mails. Have a wonderful weekend.


Cristin McCarthy Vahey


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