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The rise of lockdown loneliness

Figures show lockdown loneliness is on the rise after clocks went back and winter beckons.

The mental health impacts that were caused by the lockdown were evident when the world went into the first lockdown. Now the UK is facing its highest levels of loneliness since the then, this according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures. With darker evenings in the beginning of November loneliness figures skyrocketed, with 4.2 million adults often feeling or constantly feeling lonely. Figures for loneliness before the pandemic first hit were almost half that, at 2.6 million.

"Incredibly challenging"

That is how Loneliness Minister, Baroness Barran, described the next few months in the lockdown will be for the UK. Vivian Hill, a Psychologist, explained how particularly the winter months can be extra difficult and cause even more problems for people and how they feel about loneliness, with less daylight and the impact of the cold weather meaning less people can get outside for some fresh air to socialise.

It was found that 16 to 29 year olds were twice as likely as people over 70 to be experiencing loneliness in the pandemic, this based on surveys carried out by the ONS on 4,000 people in the UK.

Thankfully there are schemes being created in an effort to tackle loneliness and social media has a huge role in this. Much like we saw at Christmas where comedian Sarah Millican's Twitter campaign "#JoinIn", helped thousands beat loneliness in the build up to and on Christmas day.

There are online groups being setup specifically to tackle lockdown loneliness, one of these is the BBC’s “Beating Loneliness Facebook Group”.

The Facebook group is described as:

"A group for people who are or who have been lonely, for people who are trying to help loneliness and for people who have ideas on how to beat loneliness. We want this to be a useful place where you can get support and discuss freely the issues that affect your lives."

To join the BBC's “Beating Loneliness Facebook Group”you can click here to visit their page.

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