How Does the U.K. Intend to Tackle Loneliness and Social Isolation?

More than nine million people in the United Kingdom say that their lives are marked by loneliness, with many reporting that days or even weeks can go by without any social interaction. Many of these individuals are elderly and living alone, adrift from a dwindling number of family members and friends. Research has shown that loneliness increases your chances of getting sick, and a 2015 study found that loneliness was linked to premature death. In January 2018, Prime Minister Theresa May appointed a new “minister for loneliness” to identify ways to reconnect with this segment of the British population.

"Ah, look at all the lonely people":

  • Tracey Crouch, whose official title is Minister for Sport and Civil Society, will devise a national strategy to tackle social isolation, and find ways to quantify alienation and its causes.
  • Loneliness has been known to trigger cellular responses that reduce the body’s ability to fight off viruses, and has been linked to a 26 percent increase in the likelihood of premature death.
  • In the United States, approximately 42.6 million adults over the age of 45 admitted to experiencing chronic loneliness in a 2010 study conducted by AARP.
More Info: BBC

Discussion Comments


Going to church would offer companionship at least one day a week. If one cares enough about others to volunteer for the church's benevolent activities, that would keep one busy on other days. How about visiting the sick and listening to their troubles? How about helping them write their biographies, to be given to a local library for its local history collection?


Society's attacks on the family in recent years carry a lot of the blame for this. People are taught more and more that they are the center of the universe and need no one else. There are people all over the planet and those who are either naturally outgoing or who at least think of themselves as part of society are less likely to ever suffer these feelings of loneliness that afflict those who make themselves unapproachable or at least unenjoyable to be around.

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