INDIANAPOLIS (April 24, 2020) – EDGE Mentoring, the leader in whole-person development, has launched Refuel + Recharge, a weekly virtual event series on mental wellness. In partnership with FirstPerson and Thrivent (Great Lakes Region and Mid-America Region), the events feature a lineup of notable speakers to discuss the topics of mental health, the loneliness epidemic, and more.
“As an organization that values and strives for whole-person development, our goal is to promote mental wellness through honest conversations and ending the stigma that surrounds mental health in our society,” said Todd Richardson, CEO of EDGE Mentoring. “Through Refuel + Recharge, we’re leveraging the voices of passionate speakers to help encourage and foster the resilience our community needs to keep moving forward together.”
Refuel + Recharge is a key part in EDGE Mentoring’s broader initiative to connect generations in meaningful relationships to build stronger communities and combat the loneliness epidemic.
Fueling EDGE’s work is the data behind the loneliness epidemic and its correlation to record rates of mental illness in the United States. According to Cigna’s 2020 Loneliness Index, three in five American adults report feeling lonely – up seven percent from 2018.
“From the beginning, human beings have been biologically wired for connection with others. Without human connection, there is no opportunity for meaningful relationships, and without meaningful relationships, loneliness takes root and spreads, affecting every other area of our lives,” said Richardson. “Social connection, or the lack thereof, is now considered a social determinant of overall health. Not only do we crave meaningful human connection, but our well-being depends on it.”
From mental and physical health to workplace wellness, the implications of loneliness reach far beyond just the quantity or quality of social interactions. Loneliness fuels mental illness by aggravating anxiety and depression, even leading to suicide. It can raise levels of stress hormones and inflammation, which increase the risk of heart disease and threaten the immune system. And while loneliness seems like an individual issue, employers pay the cost for missed work days, lower productivity, employee disengagement, and higher turnover rates.
Cigna concluded that business leaders can help create a solution by fostering a culture of connectivity. “Coaching and mentoring can create opportunities to build relationships and support networks,” writes David Cordani, Cigna President and CEO. People want leaders and organizations that value the whole person, and that means providing the support and opportunities needed for the whole person to thrive. This can include encouraging healthier work/life balance, enabling flexible schedules, implementing employee assistance programs, or launching internal resource groups or mentoring programs.
EDGE Mentoring supports a vast community of mentors, mentees, and community members through its three core programs:
EDGE|Groups – Through an application process, a group of five to seven mentees are paired with one mentor to form a virtual EDGE Group. Together, they navigate their walks in personal growth, career development, and faith.
EDGE|Work – EDGE|Work is a whole-person development program that leverages EDGE’s proven mentoring approach through an immersive cohort experience.
EDGE|Events – From Women’s Events and Community Events to its annual EDGE|X conference, EDGE brings together nearly 4,000 attendees each year. Now, EDGE leverages virtual events like Refuel + Recharge to keep people connected.
As digital connection increasingly becomes the norm for society, EDGE Mentoring aims to preserve the authenticity of human connection and to enhance mental wellness by continuing to provide the resources, support, and community for whole-person growth and development to thrive. “When we are encouraged to prioritize and invest in our relationships, we can combat the loneliness epidemic and, in turn, improve our overall health and wellness,” said Richardson.
Each Refuel + Recharge event features a speaker who shares their experiences and practical insights on the topic of mental health and wellness, followed by a moderated Q&A with attendees. EDGE Mentoring has announced the full speaker lineup for Refuel + Recharge:
April 8 – Ken Coleman, Host of The Ken Coleman Show and Bestselling Author
April 15 – Carlos Whittaker, Author & Speaker
April 22 – Max Yoder, CEO & Co-Founder of Lessonly
April 29 – Sarah Sheehan, Co-Founder of Bravely
May 6 – Rebekah Lyons, National Speaker & Bestselling Author
May 13 – Nathan Harmon, Speaker & Founder of Your Life Speaks
May 20 – Mark Batterson, Pastor of National Community Church & New York Times Bestselling Author
More speakers will be announced in the coming weeks. Learn more about Refuel + Recharge, watch past recordings, and register for an upcoming event at edgementoring.org/refuel-recharge.
About EDGE Mentoring
EDGE is a faith-based national mentoring organization headquartered in Indianapolis. Driven by the power of community, EDGE connects generations in meaningful mentoring relationships for whole person growth and development. Through these intergenerational relationships, EDGE hopes to see every generation living a fully integrated life of purpose, boldness, and impact.