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Fogo Island shows how social enterprises can help rebuild communities post-coronavirus by Natalie Slawinski and Wendy K. Smith May 27,2020   |  Source: The Conversation

Social distancing and stay-at-home measures around the globe have been necessary to tackle the COVID-19 crisis. Yet these measures have led to increased rates of loneliness and depression as people continue to physically distance from each other.

More than 30 per cent of the world’s population now faces restrictions related to COVID-19. The impact on mental health has rapidly become apparent. According to one recent study, levels of depression in Canada have more than doubled in the past few weeks, rising to 16 per cent from seven per cent.

The scope of mental health challenges continues to mount, but the underlying problem has been brewing for a long time. Over the past decades, increased globalization and online interactions have disconnected us from our local communities.

We now order food and products on Amazon and they conveniently and anonymously arrive at our door. Without the face-to-face contact with the people behind our products, we lose out on human connection.

Our team’s in-depth research offers one antidote to the loss of human connection. For seven years, we studied Shorefast, a registered Canadian charity aiming to revitalize Fogo Island, a community of 2,500 people off the northeast coast of Newfoundland.

Like other fishing communities, Fogo

 

© 2010–2020, The Conversation Media Group Ltd

Theme(s): Communities and Organisations.

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