Campaign to end loneliness
Feeling lonely can be fleeting, felt for just a day, or for it can be a longer term emotion. It is useful to think positively about doing something to help yourself out of loneliness, while remembering not to blame yourself for feeling this way.
Feeling lonely is a normal human emotion and is simply a sign of wanting contact with people. It can often happen because of external circumstances, such as loss of a loved one.
If you have been feeling lonely for a while, a first step is to notice and identify this, even if just to yourself. This can help you can think about what you could do to help yourself, or how to ask for help from others.
If you think you are feeling lonely, you could try one or more of the following:
- Think about yourself – think about what you would like more of – maybe time with friends or family, if so invite them to visit. Often if you are lonely you think people do not want to visit. This is understandable but often people will respond to an invitation and will come and spend quality time with you.
- Look after yourself – if you can do something to improve your health, take small steps to eat well, take gentle exercise and keep active, all of these things can help you to relax more fully in your own company.
- Share your skills and time with others – you can offer time or specific skills by helping out in your street, neighbourhood or with local organisations. You could volunteer with the Royal Voluntary Service, Sense or Independent Age who support older people.
- Your community and neighbourhood – find out what local activities are being planned and book them up: walks, singing groups, book clubs and bridge. For example, Contact the Elderly and the University of the Third Age have a wide range of local social groups and activities across the UK. You can also call The Silver Line helpline on (freephone) 0800 4 70 80 90 for information, advice or just for a chat, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
- Speak to a health worker if you feel very lonely – long term loneliness could contribute to later depression and other health problems. Your GP should be able to direct you to local services.
Some useful resources:
- Order a free guide: Independent Age have produced a Wise Guide called Healthy, happy, connected – support and advice for older people living alone. This will help you to find free groups and classes in your local area, discover volunteering opportunities and suggest ways of getting the most out of life. Order your free copy by calling 020 7605 4225 or email email@example.com.
- If you think your parent might be lonely: take a look at the follow When They Get Older Loneliness Guide
- For further information and support you could also visit Mind’s How to cope with loneliness or call 0300 123 3393
For general queries email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 7012 1409.
Or you can write to us at:
Campaign to End Loneliness
3 Rufus Street
Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm)
Details of local Minds and other local services, including peer
support groups and volunteering opportunities in Mind shops, and
Mind’s Legal Advice Line. Language Line is available for talking in a
language other than English.
- Age UK
advice line: 0800 169 65 65
Advice and information for older people.
helpline: 08444 775 774
Support and information for people suffering from anxiety disorders.
British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP)
tel: 0161 705 4304
Details of accredited therapists.
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
tel: 01455 883 300
Details of practitioners in your area.
advice line: 0808 808 7777
Independent information and support for carers.
Contact the Elderly
tel: 0800 716 543
Social activities for people over 75 with little or no social support.
Mind’s supportive online community.
helpline: 0808 802 0925
Advice and practical support for single parents.
Help for Adult Victims of Child Abuse (HAVOCA)
Support and advice for adults suffering from past childhood abuse.
London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard
helpline: 0300 330 0630
Support and information for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered
people in the UK.
tel: 0300 100 1234
Counselling for adults with relationship difficulties.
Information about volunteering opportunities.
Volunteer link scheme
Imagine being an elderly or disabled housebound person and not seeing anyone for four, five or even six days in a row. Our volunteers befriend housebound people in the London Borough of Ealing….and last year they made over 2,550 visits to isolated and vulnerable housebound people.