A report by the Mental Health Foundation has suggested that feeling lonely for a long time can lead to physical and mental health problems.
“The Lonely Society”, which was published today, states that four in ten people have felt depressed because they felt alone (42%). The report also linked persistent loneliness to stress, as well as poorer functioning of the immune and cardiovascular systems.
The main findings of the report were:
• One in ten people feel lonely often.
• Loneliness a common experience yet ’embarrassing to admit’.
• Feeling alone linked to physical and mental ill health.
Evidence in the report shows that loneliness makes it harder to control the habits and behaviour that can lead to health problems. For example lonely middle-aged adults drink more alcohol, have unhealthier diets and take less exercise than the socially contented.
To read Hafal Chief Executive Bill Walden-Jones’ views on ‘The Lonely Society’ and how it relates to people with a serious mental illness please visit: http://billwaldenjones.blogspot.com/2010/05/lonely.html
For stats and information on ‘The Lonely Society’ please visit: http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/media/news-releases/news-releases-2010/25-may-2010/