A National Campaign to End Loneliness reached Pembrokeshire this week and was the focus of a day-long seminar at Letterston Memorial Hall on Thursday.
Supported by Big Lottery Funding and, in Pembrokeshire, by Pembrokeshire County Council, this initiative acknowledges that ‘Loneliness is horrible’.
Novelist Emily Dickinson described it as “…the horror not to be surveyed….the quiet devastation.”
Novelist Emily Dickinson described it as “…the quiet devastation, the horror not to be surveyed.”
Campaign to End Loneliness.
Discussion centred around a search for applied local strategies to help relieve loneliness in our communities and so improve lives; to achieve positive health outcomes and reduce the impact that, as research clearly shows, loneliness has on morbidity and mortality – yes, it’s a bigger indirect killer than heart disease and obesity and other chronic diseases.
Loneliness shortens lives and renders life unbearable for sufferers.
Adverse effects of loneliness on health:
- Increased stress – associated with boredom, restriction of free movement – confinement.
- Weight gain or weight loss – effects of low mood, isolation – perhaps leading to insufficient or sub-optimal dietary intake / poor nutrition.
- Depression and anxiety – and more severe risks to self, secondary to these.
What helps to relieve loneliness?
Here are just a few…. please add your own suggestions in the comments section below, following this article…
- A heart to heart hug.
- Therapeutic touch.
- *Contact and communication…. Women tend to prefer face to face contact (more appropriate when anyone seeks ‘understanding’ or emotional support; whereas men enjoy ‘shoulder to shoulder’ activities – the Men’s Shed initiative is an excellent example of this – ‘tangible support’, working together to solve a problem.
- *Meaningful invitations to share time together – even 10 minutes contact is proven to bring about a release of hormones that affect a positive sense of wellbeing (Oxytocin).
- Considered seating arrangements.*
- Cultural sensitivity.*
- Inter-generational meeting places.*