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Loneliness awareness

Posted10.06.24

Loneliness awareness week

This week marks loneliness awareness week. It is a time to address the issues around loneliness and its impact on our mental health. This year’s theme, ‘Random Acts of Connection,’ aims to inspire and encourage ways for people to connect, helping to combat the effects of loneliness.

While most of us have experienced loneliness at some point, it’s important to recognise the difference between being alone and feeling lonely. Loneliness is not just a physical state but an emotional one, and it can strike even when we are surrounded by friends and loved ones. The emotional toll of loneliness can manifest as overwhelming isolation, low self-esteem, and both physical and emotional exhaustion.

For those experiencing homelessness, these feelings of isolation and disconnection are often magnified. As a group, they experience loneliness at a rate over three times higher than that of the group typically associated with loneliness—middle-aged and older individuals.

Homelessness not only strips people of a physical home but also disrupts their support systems, leaving them without anyone to turn to during tough times. The stigma attached to homelessness often reinforces social exclusion, making people feel invisible and forgotten. Those facing homelessness are more than nine times likely to commit suicide compared to the general population.

Whilst loneliness isn’t classified as a mental health problem, it can exacerbate conditions like depression, anxiety, and stress. Research indicates that prolonged loneliness can be as damaging to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Ending homelessness is more than just putting a roof over someone’s head. It also takes supportive relationships and meaningful connections. That’s why at Evolve, we don’t just provide somewhere safe to stay. We also help people to build those relationships and connections. With each other, with family and friends, and with new opportunities. By doing so we not only help people stay off the streets. But we also set them up for new lives, where they leave homelessness behind for good.

This loneliness awareness week, we invite you to join us for our final community wellbeing walk. We will be meeting at Wandle Park tram stop  on Friday 14th June at 12pm. This walk offers an opportunity to connect with others, enjoy nature, and find out more about our work. By joining us, you will be contributing to a community-wide effort to reduce loneliness and social isolation.

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