Denmark is considered one of the happiest countries in the world, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t people there who get lonely just like the rest of us. But the difference seems to be that Denmark is taking steps to make those lonely people feel a little less lonely.
Denmark’s 20-year-old organization Ventilen, or “friend to one” helps bring together those young people who may be dealing with loneliness. The organization brings 15-to-25 year olds together with volunteers to do a variety of things that may help them build human connections, like playing games, or going to the movies.
The organization has 21 places where young people are offered a place to go, with things to do and people to enjoy them with, which is pretty key considering studies have shown an increasing amount of loneliness around the world, while others have noted that loneliness can actually lead to early death.
- And it seems Ventilen is working. The organization, which is funded by the government and private donors, has been measuring their results since 2011, and through 2017 they say they’ve had nearly 700 people participate, and 70% said they felt less lonely because of he group. What's more, 74% say they felt higher self-worth, 80% were more likely to meet other people and 64% said they were better at social situations.