Feeling lonely and isolated often make you cope less efficiently with stress and hardships, continuous isolation can lead to depression, which is linked to many physical and mental health challenges.
Community and social networks help develop our identity and cope better with life.
how we are helping our community
Celebrating local identity and help people find a group they belong to.
A calendar of free and low-cost activities and events - discover your new community.
Shouting about community organisations and funding local projects.
bringing people together
Working together and getting creative for our community.
What are loneliness and social isolation?
Loneliness: Loneliness is an unwelcome feeling of lack or loss of companionship, this can happen even if we surrounded by people.
It is a mismatch between the quantity and quality of social relationships that we have, and those that we want.
Social isolation: Social isolation describes a lack of social contacts and networks.
How many people feel like this?
40% of 17-25 year olds using Action for Children services experienced problems with loneliness. (Action for Children)
Over 9 million adults are often or always lonely. (British Red Cross and Co-op)
Half of parents have had a problem with loneliness with 20% feeling lonely in the last week. (Action for Children)
60% of migrants and refugees in London described loneliness and isolation as their biggest challenge. (The Forum)
More than 1 in 10 men say they are lonely, but would not admit it to anyone. (Royal Voluntary Service)
How does identity relate to loneliness?
Humans are social beings. We are members of families, sporting teams, hobbyists, spiritual groups, charities, political parties, cities, countries and nationalities, to name a few. Nearly every aspect of our lives is organized around belonging to something.
We cannot separate the importance of a sense of belonging from our physical and mental health.
The social ties within the groups we identify with, that create our sense of belonging, help us manage stress and cope with difficult time. Managing stress and coping with hardships decreases the impact stress has on your physical and mental health.
A lack of quality social connections, and the support that they offer, can result in chronic loneliness. With long-term effects on physiological stress, immune function and cardiovascular health.
Loneliness has been equated to the impact of 15 cigarettes a day.
How could improving loneliness helps the NHS?
Disconnected communities could be costing the UK economy £32 billion every year. (Big Lunch)
3/4 GPs say they see between 1 and 5 people a day who have come in mainly because they are lonely, and 1/10 see between 6 and 10 such patients daily. (Campaign to End Loneliness)
Years of austerity to health and social care services mean that GPs are seeing patients with stress or depression related to isolation, food poverty or benefit issues. Aspects of life the doctor can not help with – but the community can.
Resources to address these concerns exist in the community, but many who need these services do not know where to look.