Newly-appointed NY loneliness ambassador Dr. Ruth Westheimer talks about her new role

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, November 14, 2023
Extra Time with Dr. Ruth Westheimer, NY's loneliness ambassador
Bill Ritter interviews Dr. Ruth Westheimer on Extra Time.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The life force that is Dr. Ruth Westheimer, who helped bring conversations about sex out of the closet, is now tackling another issue in a role that's the first of its kind in the nation.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul on Thursday appointed Westheimer to be the state's honorary ambassador to loneliness.

As New York state works to combat its loneliness epidemic, "some help from honorary Ambassador Ruth Westheimer may be just what the doctor ordered," Hochul said in a statement.

Westheimer is aiming to help New Yorkers with social isolation, which is associated with physical and mental health issues such as cardiovascular disease, depression, dementia and earlier death, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The 95-year-old, psychosexual therapist and author of more than 37 books, is a Holocaust survivor who recently recovered from a mild stroke.

In an interview on Extra Time with Eyewitness News anchor Bill Ritter, Westheimer said that she feels good and is progressing.

As for her new role, she says that she still has the "strength and ability to help" and wants people, if they feel lonely, to admit it to themselves.

She says once people do that, they can begin to talk about the remedies that can help alleviate their loneliness.

You can watch her full interview with Bill Ritter from Extra Time in the media player above.

The Eyewitness News Mornings @ 10 team weighs in below:

New York Governor Kathy Hochul on Thursday appointed Dr. Ruth Westheimer to be the state's honorary ambassador to loneliness.

CNN-Wire contributed to this report.


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* Follow us on YouTube

* More local news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.