Dr. Ruth Westheimer, sex therapist and talk show host, appointed New York’s 1st ambassador to loneliness


Dr. Ruth Westheimer appointed New York’s ambassador to loneliness

Dr. Ruth Westheimer appointed New York’s ambassador to loneliness


ALBANY, N.Y. — Dr. Ruth Westheimer, best-known as a sex therapist and talk show host, has been named New York’s honorary ambassador to loneliness, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced 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.”

2023 Celebrate Israel Parade
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 04: Dr. Ruth Westheimer rides in a car up 5th Avenue in Midtown during the Israel Parade on June 04, 2023 in New York City.

John Lamparski2023 / Getty Images

Westheimer, a 95-year-old Holocaust survivor and Bronx resident, 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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