ALBANY, N.Y. — Dr. Ruth Westheimer, best-known as a sex therapist and talk show host, has been namedhonorary ambassador to loneliness, on Thursday.
New York is the first state to appoint an ambassador to loneliness.
“As New York works to fight the loneliness epidemic, some help from honorary Ambassador Ruth Westheimer may be just what the doctor ordered,” Hochul said in a statement announcing the appointment. “Dr. Ruth Westheimer has offered her services to help older adults and all New Yorkers cope with the loneliness epidemic and I will be appointing her to serve as the nation’s first state-level honorary Ambassador to Loneliness. Studies show individuals experiencing loneliness had a 32 percent higher risk of dying early and we need leaders like Dr. Ruth to help address this critical component of our mental health crisis.”
Westheimer, a 95-year-old Holocaust survivor andresident, rose to prominence as a sex therapist and talk show host in the 80s and 90s. She pledged to help every New Yorker address the growing issue of social isolation.
“Hallelujah! I got off the phone with Governor Hochul yesterday afternoon. She called to ask me to serve as the very first Honorary Ambassador to Loneliness in the nation. I am deeply honored and promised the Governor that I will work day and night to help New Yorkers feel less lonely!” said Westheimer.
Westheimer suggested the idea of becoming an ambassador to the state to give advice on how to address loneliness, particularly amid the pandemic, in 2023.
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