YourFriends Srl is an italian SIAVS, i.e. an Innovative Start-Up with a Social Vocation.
It was born in March 2023, after a long gestation.
Its mission is to improve people’s living conditions through tools and initiatives that can alleviate the problems generated by situations of loneliness.
Loneliness, “the next pandemic”
Loneliness, as a continuous or temporary state, affects every human being to varying degrees and negatively affects their potential well-being. It is characterized by a thousand different aspects, it can easily affect the elderly, but it actually affects every age group, in different ways, intensity and degrees of awareness.
The understanding of this problem is growing everywhere and initiatives to address it are becoming official and concrete.
On May 3, 2023, the Surgeon General of the United States published a document in which he drew attention to the crisis of loneliness, isolation and lack of connections that afflicts American society. Calling it “the next pandemic”.
In the United Kingdom, the “Minister of Loneliness” was already created in 2018, in order to counteract the negative effects of loneliness.
Later Japan, in 2021, created a “Minister of Loneliness and Isolation”.
All this in apparent contradiction with the spread of social networks and with the exponential growth of the number of communication channels and contacts theoretically available to each of us.
The negative effects of loneliness have been studied and scientifically proven: loneliness is often experienced as existential depression, or insecurity and fear of events and the future. It often has harmful, even serious, consequences on physical as well as mental health.
It almost always has negative repercussions on all the people who to some extent have relationships with those who suffer from it, creating anxiety for their safety and health, as well as sadness as a reflection of their depressive state. often ending up, paradoxically, to encourage their further emotional estrangement.
How YourFriends works
YourFriends attacks the problem starting from the most evident need: that of personal safety in conditions of loneliness.
It does so starting from a technological approach.
YourFriends is in fact a digital platform and an application that can use any device and the user’s preferred communication channel. It is also fully customizable.
When YourFriends identifies a potentially critical situation for its user, it alerts the selected chain of “friends”, based on personalized, efficient and non-invasive criteria that the user himself has previously set.
It will be the chain of “friends” that activates itself in favor of the user, adapting its actions to the contingent situation.
YourFriends includes a pact of mutual generosity, by which the user, while appointing his friends, undertakes to intervene, if necessary, to help any of them.
This mutual aid pact within the group is designed to be a first step towards establishing a relationship that will mitigate the negative effects of loneliness.