Britain now has a minister for loneliness

Handout.  Reuters                   Murdered MP Jo Cox campaigned to find ways to combat loneliness
Handout. Reuters Murdered MP Jo Cox campaigned to find ways to combat loneliness
Author

19 January, 2018

Numerous lonely are elderly, but the aid agency said there's a "hidden epidemic" that affects people across all age groups at various times in their life, such as retirement, mourning or separation. According to a recent AARP study, approximately 42.6 million Americans over age 45 suffer from chronic loneliness.

Since the U.K voted to move out of the European Union over a year ago, many people around Europe have mockingly said that the move will result in an isolated and lonely island nation.

She said: 'I am sure that with the support of volunteers, campaigners, businesses and fellow MPs we can make significant progress in defeating loneliness'.

Conservative MP Tracey Crouch was named to the post by British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday. In 2010, the Mental Health Foundation in the United Kingdom found that loneliness is an even greater concern for young people - that they were both more likely to feel lonely, and feel anxious or depressed about being lonely.

According to Downing Street, Minister for Sport and Civil Society Tracey Crouch will now also deal with a whole array of issues related to loneliness, which is thought to affect at least nine million people in Britain.

Loneliness has previously been found to be as harmful to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day or drinking excessively.

Jo Cox was a Labour party MP who was shot and stabbed outside her office in Yorkshire in 2016.

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Research shows it's a big problem in Britain.

Professor Jane Cummings, the chief nursing officer for England, said loneliness could have a "devastating impact" on mental health and increase the risk of premature death by a third.

A policy response is welcome, and hopefully the Jo Cox Commission can work with this new ministerial role to address some of these crucial issues.

But when you read these stories and statistics, and others about how social media has complicated the way young people think about their friendships and relationships, you get the overwhelming feeling that loneliness isn't something you're going to be able to avoid.

The government plans to solicit opinions from charity groups and companies to draw up a strategy this year to tackle loneliness.

"Throughout 2017 we have heard from new parents, children, disabled people, carers, refugees and older people about their experience of loneliness".

Some people believe Theresa May is lonely herself.


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