An "iconic" sex therapist was named New York State's first "Ambassador to Loneliness"

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New York State Names 1st Ambassador to Loneliness

Annual Charity Day Hosted By Cantor Fitzgerald And BGC - Cantor Fitzgerald Office - Inside
Robin Marchant

On Thursday, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that she has appointed Dr. Ruth Westheimer as the nation’s first Ambassador to Loneliness.

"In accepting the honorary title, the iconic talk show host pledged to help New Yorkers of all ages address the growing issue of social isolation, which is associated with multiple physical and mental health issues, including cognitive decline, anxiety, depression, cardiovascular disorders, weakened immunity, Alzheimer’s disease, and premature death," Hochul's office stated in a press release.

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Reason For Ambassador to Loneliness Position In New York State

A recent study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found that over 33 percent of adults 45 or older experience loneliness. Around 25 percent of adults 65 or older are considered socially isolated.

Loneliness is defined as the feeling of being alone, regardless of the amount of social contact, while social isolation refers to a lack of social connections, Hochul's office notes.

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"Ask Dr Ruth" - 2019 Tribeca Film Festival
Getty Images for Tribeca Film Fe

"For decades, the public has turned to Dr. Ruth Westheimer as an authority with wide-reaching influence who spoke to us eloquently and candidly about issues that are fundamental to who we are and how we interact with one another in a complex world. I can think of no one better than Dr. Ruth Westheimer to connect with New Yorkers of all ages and help elevate the issue of social isolation," New York State Office for the Aging Director Greg Olsen said.

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