Our Lifestyle Panel looks at relationships by examining how we address and limit the impacts of extreme loneliness, a program that allows seniors to to dial in to stay connected and the mystery of the bromance and why it's so important.

How we can address and limit the broad impacts of extreme loneliness.

Britain has taken a new step to address the issue of loneliness with the appointment of a Minister of Loneliness. British Prime Minister Theresa May announced the new position in response to a new report that found a staggering number of people in the UK feel lonely some or all of the time.

Loneliness can cause a myriad of health issues and even shorten our lives. Supporters of this decision say the appointment acknowledges that and helps to start the conversation around dealing with this potential health crisis. Our panelists agree that this is a major mental health issue and that addressing it individually and as a society is a vital part of changing the trend.

A seniors' program offers companionship and support without leaving home.

For some seniors, it can be challenging to get out to socialize, but the Seniors’ Centre Without Walls, a program run by the Edmonton Southside Primary Care Network is making it easier for them to stay connected. They provide connected over the phone, allowing seniors to have fun and to learn something new.

Project Coordinator Heather Drouin says that staying connected is so important and becomes more challenging as we age. She says that for some of the participants, the program is a lifeline to the outside world.

While face-to-face interaction is still the preference for mental health professionals, our panelists agree that this is an excellent resource when that is not possible. The feelings of connection and community are so important for our overall health.

Male friendships vs. bromances, what's the difference?

The term “Bromance” is growing in popularity, but male friendships are not new. Close friendships are important, and while some think the term is making that more acceptable, there are concerns that the word creates some stigma because of the reference to romance.

Our culture has socialized men to carry certain stereotypes, to be strong and reliable. But it’s also important to find balance and recognize that male friendships are healthy and normal.

Our Lifestyle Panel consists of: Deepika Mittra, stress expert and self-care advocat; Dr. Ganz Ferrance, Registered Psychologist with the Ferrance Group and Dr. Susan MacDonald, Registered Psychologist.