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Start talking about loneliness

Residents in Northumberland are being urged to start talking about loneliness to help tackle the stigma it holds, and to promote the importance of social connections, as the issue takes centre stage as part of Loneliness Awareness Week 2020.

Loneliness is one of the greatest difficulties people are facing across the county during the Covid-19 crisis. It can be experienced by anyone, and now more than ever it is important it is talked about. 

Research has shown that long term loneliness can have an adverse effect on your health and wellbeing; being twice as bad as obesity, contributing to high blood pressure and heart disease, and acting as an accelerator of cognitive decline and clinical dementia. 

Councillor Veronica Jones, Cabinet Member with responsibility for adult, wellbeing and health said: “Coronavirus and the need to socially distance ourselves has naturally made us all more aware of loneliness, and how that can make us feel - making it one of the biggest challenges during this time.

“It is important that our residents now, and in the future, feel confident in starting those conversations for the benefit of their own health and wellbeing. If you are aware of someone who may be lonely, it is equally as important for you to make the first steps in connecting with them to help break down those barriers.”

Whilst the county is significantly rural, and has a higher population of elderly residents who experience loneliness, it can also affect children and young people - no one is immune, and as we continue to experience the effects of coronavirus, and the need to socially distance ourselves it is important that the avenues to talk about it remain actively open.  

Daljit Lally, Chief Executive of Northumberland County Council said: “We have seen an enormous amount of support across our communities over the past few months, showing that when we come together, we really begin to help those in need. 

“Loneliness is no different - it is an unseen vulnerability, and even during these unprecedented times, through the use of digital media, or even the traditional pen to paper, and telephone call we can make a difference to those in need.”

If you, or someone you know is experiencing loneliness there is help out there, visit https://letstalkloneliness.co.uk/advice/
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