By Dolline Mukui.
A study from the Office of National statistics show that young people are more likely to suffer from loneliness.
Earlier this year, Theresa May had set out plans to tackle loneliness and she warned that millions of others were suffering from it too.
The survey done with over 10,000 adults exhibited that 10% of 16-24 year olds said they felt lonely. This figure is three times higher than people aged 65 and above.
There has been focus on isolation in the elderly community but feelings of loneliness tend to decrease with age. This may be due to the fact that they become more resilient to life events and transitional periods, according to the study.
Experts have said that loneliness is linked to a sense of belonging or a lack of stability. This could mean within their social groups or community.
Social media may have a role to play in loneliness. We befriend hundreds of people on our social media accounts but they rarely become true friends that we can offload our concerns and issues to.
Cal Strode of the Mental Health Foundation said that “Teens can have thousands of friends online and yet feel unsupported and isolated. Technology, including social media, could be exacerbating social isolation.”
Women are more likely than men to report feelings of loneliness. Social gender constructs of masculinity in men require them to be strong, bold and handle anything that comes their way and societal pressures have reinforced these notions on men. This results in men not wanting to come forward and talk about about their personal issues.
Izzi Seccombe, chairwoman of the Local Government Association’s committee on well-being voiced that “The harm loneliness can cause, both physically and mentally, can be devastating to people of all ages – it is a serious public health concern which studies suggest can be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.”
Those least likely to be affected are middle-aged people, homeowners involved in their community, in good health and in a relationship.
For more information on this issue, visit https://www.campaigntoendloneliness.org/loneliness-research/
Dolline recently graduated with an MA in Broadcast Journalism. She is an ITV Breaking into News finalist whereby she reported on the Manchester Arena attack. Currently, she is a voluntary co-host/contributor on a show called a ‘Chat with Elle Celeste’. She also has a blog where she talks about her life and travels.