Home Community and neighbourhoods Let’s get talking this Loneliness Awareness Week

Let’s get talking this Loneliness Awareness Week

by Guy Murphy

Knowsley residents are being encouraged to harness moments of connection and get talking about loneliness and how it can impact us.

Loneliness Awareness Week, which is run by The Marmalade Trust, takes place from 12–18 June and focuses on the importance of connection.

Loneliness can affect anyone, at any time, and can be caused by a number of different things in our lives, from the loss of a loved one to losing social contact with others.  However, it is important to remember that there are many people and organisations out there who can help.

This Loneliness Awareness Week we’re asking residents to get talking and make connections, from reaching out to support groups to checking in on loved ones and neighbours.

How can I help somebody who is feeling lonely?

Everyone can play their part by keeping an eye on their vulnerable residents and neighbours and just checking that they are okay. Having a chat or asking them if they need any help with their shopping will mean a great deal to people.

What help is there if I’m feeling lonely?

There are lots of community groups and volunteering opportunities in Knowsley for residents who’d like to get more involved in their local community.  Further information is available on the Live Well Directory at www.thelivewelldirectory.com.

There’s also the Silverline dedicated telephone line (0800 4708 090) for older people who need information, friendship and advice. It operates 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

Age UK also offer a range of advice and support through their website or you can call their advice line on 0800 055 6112 – lines are open 8am to 7pm, 365 days a year.  You can also sign up for a regular friendship call.

MIND’s website explains loneliness, giving practical suggestions for what you can do and where you can go for support. In addition, the Samaritans are available 365 days a year if you are worried about something or feeling lonely.  You can contact them on freephone 116 123 or visit the Samaritans website.

There’s a 24/7 urgent NHS Mental Health crisis helpline number for people of all ages in need of urgent mental health support, call freephone 0800 051 1508.

Shout offers free, confidential, anonymous support 24/7 via text message. The trained volunteers will work with you to take your next steps towards feeling better. Simply text the word “REACH” to 85258 for immediate support. Visit the website

Cllr Christine Bannon, Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Health, said: “Everyone will have a personal experience of loneliness and, thankfully, for the majority these moments will pass. However, for some Knowsley residents loneliness can have major impact on their mental health and wellbeing.

“We can all play a role in helping others who might be suffering loneliness, from signposting to support in the borough to simply having a chat with a loved one or neighbour.

“If you’re feeling lonely, it is important to know that help and support is available online or by picking up the phone. Remember, there are others out there who have similar feelings and the best way to combat loneliness is to get talking.”