This briefing paper covers research into the prevalence, causes and impact of loneliness and possible interventions to address the issue.
Approximately 47% of adults in England experience loneliness “occasionally or more often”. Academic research has suggested that loneliness or social isolation is linked to poorer health outcomes, including early death, higher rates of depression and cognitive decline, and leads to higher costs in the public and private sector due to greater service usage, absences and productivity losses.
Coronavirus-related social-distancing and lockdown measures have had a profound impact on individuals and communities, especially for those shielding, living alone or in a care home.
The paper describes cross-government measures announced to tackle loneliness in England, and briefly outlines approaches in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland before looking at central and local government actions, alongside the voluntary and community sector, to tackle loneliness during the pandemic.
'Tackling loneliness', published by House of Commons Library, looks at:
- Understanding loneliness
- Causes of loneliness and prevention
- The Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness
- The UK Government’s Loneliness Strategy
- Evaluations and Commentary
- Loneliness strategies elsewhere in the UK
- And, provides contacts and advice