The creation of this post was one of the main recommendations made in a report published by the Jo Cox Commission on loneliness.
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said:
“We welcome the appointment of a new Minister to tackle loneliness. Loneliness itself isn’t a mental health problem, but the two are often strongly connected. Having a mental health problem increases your chance of feeling lonely, and feeling lonely can have a negative impact on your mental health. By introducing this role, the Government appears to be accepting the links between loneliness and other issues and that Government departments need to work together to tackle it.
“People are naturally social creatures and most of us feel the need for social contact and relationships in one form or another. Being sociable and connecting with other people is rewarding in its own right and can help significantly improve your mental wellbeing. Perhaps even more importantly, building up a support network can also be vital for when you aren’t feeling so good. We know that over half of people who have experienced depression or anxiety isolate themselves from friends and family.
“Life can be challenging at times and when you’re living with a mental health problem the ups and downs of day-to-day life can be that much harder to manage. This is why Mind campaigns to highlight to the Government and local services how important it is that people get the support they need. Help with issues such as finances, housing and social contact are important in helping people with mental health problems stay well and live full lives. We have also done extensive research into the benefits of peer support in helping people with mental health problems build social connections through our Side by Side programme and Get Set to Go sports programme.”
To find out more about coping with loneliness click here
To find out more about Mind’s peer support work click here
To find out more about Get Set to Go click here