New America’s Mental Health Loneliness Survey: Military Perspectives Finds Significant Portion of Military Couples “Often” Feel Lonely

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Survey Reveals Top Factors Contributing to Loneliness Among Military Couples: Distance from Loved Ones, Time Apart from Partners, and Difficulty Making New Connections

STAMFORD, Conn., Feb. 12, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Cohen Veterans Network (CVN), a national not-for-profit network of mental health clinics for post-9/11 veterans, active duty service members, and their families, released findings from its new America’s Mental Health Loneliness Survey: Military Perspectives which captured military couples’ experiences with loneliness and isolation. It found that over a quarter (27%) of military couples surveyed “often” feel lonely, while half (50%) feel lonely “some of the time.” It additionally revealed the top factors contributing to loneliness among military couples. To address this issue, CVN is sharing resources to help individuals combat loneliness and improve communication skills, and CVN clinics across the network are hosting in-person and virtual events to help military couples enhance their connectedness.

The new "America’s Mental Health Loneliness Survey: Military Perspectives" from Cohen Veterans Network captured military couples’ experiences with loneliness and isolation. It found that 77% of military couples surveyed feel lonely “often” (27%) or “some of the time” (50%). The network is sharing strategies to help military couples combat loneliness and enhance connection.

Recently, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy warned of the public health crisis of loneliness, isolation, and lack of connection in the United States, noting that loneliness and isolation contribute substantially to mental health challenges. He reported, “In adults, the risk of developing depression among people who report feeling lonely often is more than double that of people who rarely or never feel lonely.” With its survey, CVN sought to understand loneliness as it relates to the military community, and specifically, couples.  

“There is more of an emphasis on service members and military spouses as distinct groups, rather than military couples together,” says Cohen Veterans Network President & CEO Dr. Anthony Hassan. “But the nature of military service, marked by deployments, frequent relocations, and extended periods of separation, can intensify feelings of loneliness and isolation for military couples, impacting their relationships.”

The survey additionally captured the top factors contributing to loneliness among military couples:

  • More than half (55%) of military couples surveyed reported no close friends or family nearby as a top factor 
  • More than half (54%) of military couples surveyed reported time apart from spouse or partner (deployments, training, work obligations) as a top factor 
  • Two-fifths (40%) of military couples surveyed reported difficulty making new connections as a top factor 

Based on these findings, CVN is sharing strategies to help military couples combat loneliness and enhance connection. This includes being intentional and creative about staying in touch, minding self-talk, and focusing on quality connections over quantity.

CVN is filling the gaps in care providing individual, group, and couples therapy across its 24 Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinics. To date, the network has treated over 53,000 clients including over 10,000 individuals in couples therapy. Approximately 22% of CVN clients are currently participating in couples therapy.

Additionally, throughout February, Cohen Clinics across the country are hosting events such as Relationship Workshops in Addison, TX and Clarksville, TN and Date Nights in Torrance, CA and Killeen, TX, among others. The network is also sharing Relationship Tips, Self-Care Strategies, Couples Therapy Facts and more as part of its current #MilitaryLessonsInLove campaign. Visit cohenveteransnetwork.org/couples for more on the resources, events, and survey findings.

ABOUT THE SURVEY

America’s Mental Health Loneliness Survey: Military Perspectives was conducted online by Cohen Veterans Network from January 12 to February 6, 2024, among 262 respondents, 187 of whom were military-connected individuals in relationships including veterans, service members, and spouses/partners.

ABOUT COHEN VETERANS NETWORK

Cohen Veterans Network (CVN) is a 501(c)(3) national not-for-profit philanthropic organization for post-9/11 veterans, active duty service members and their families. CVN focuses on improving mental health outcomes, operating a network of outpatient mental health clinics in high-need communities, in which trained clinicians deliver holistic evidence-based care to treat mental health conditions. It was established in 2016 by philanthropist Steven A. Cohen with a commitment of $275 million to build the network. Learn more about CVN at cohenveteransnetwork.org.

(PRNewsfoto/Cohen Veterans Network)

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SOURCE Cohen Veterans Network

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