A new effort to tackle the long-standing social isolation and loneliness problems that older adults, people with disabilities and veterans often experience, which has worsened during the coronavirus pandemic, has been launched.

It’s called the MENTAL Health Challenge, being started by the federal Administration for Community Living, part of the Department of Health and Human Services. The goal is to develop a software platform allowing individuals to access the right solutions for them, after discovering that few seem to know what local programs are available to help them.

“More people are suffering because more people are homebound,” said Kelly Cronin, the deputy administrator of Center for Innovation and Partnership at ACL. “It has more to do with the guidelines that are being reinforced at a federal, state and community level about social distancing. It’s those…

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