The Department of Health and Human Services invites stakeholder teams, including health care providers, to submit innovative proposals through Sept. 8 for an online platform to connect older adults, veterans, disabled people and other vulnerable populations to technologies and social engagement programs that can address loneliness and social isolation.

The Mobilizing and Empowering the Nation and Technology to Address Loneliness and social isolation (MENTAL) Health Innovation Challenge plans to announce in January the winning system, which will become part of a national public awareness campaign.

"We need a multipronged public health approach to change the way we address social isolation, especially among our most at-risk populations," said U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, M.D.

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