The UK has appointed a minister for loneliness to tackle the scale of the problem across Britain.
The appointment continues the work of late MP Jo Cox and comes after the recommendations put forward in the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness. Sports Minister Tracey Crouch will take on the role and lead a cross-government group, which will take responsibility for driving action on loneliness.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said that for too many, loneliness is the sad reality of modern life. She continued, “I want to confront this challenge for our society and for all of us to take action to address the loneliness endured by the elderly, by carers, by those who have lost loved ones – people who have no one to talk to or share their thoughts and experiences with.”
The latest figures from the UK suggest that 9 million people, young and old, are affected by loneliness.
Here are some more loneliness stats coming out of the UK
- Over half of parents have had a problem with loneliness
- 200,000 older people have not had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month
- 800,000 older people in the UK have no close friends
- 6 million older people in the UK say the television is their main company
- 4 million older people in the UK feel cut off from society
- Loneliness costs UK employers £2.5 billion per year.
We all feel lonely from time to time, but the increase in loneliness is a concern. It will be interesting to see how the UK tackles the problem.
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