COVID-19: Read the latest advice on social distancing and how to help safely during the coronavirus pandemic if you’re supporting people that are experiencing loneliness. Visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus for more information.
Coronavirus is affecting all our lives and making it more difficult for us to spend time with people in the ways we usually would. Loneliness is a natural reaction to this, and it’s important that you don’t blame yourself for feelings of loneliness, at this or any other time.
However, keeping connected is incredibly important as part of looking after your own wellbeing and that of others. Full guidance on looking after your mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak can be found on gov.uk
Keep in touch with friends, family and neighbours
Phone family members and friends or use online video programmes so you can see their faces. Sometimes a friendly chat is all you need to feel better.
- If you’re worried about what to talk about, consider mutual interest and arrange to both read the same book or watch the same TV show, so you can discuss it.
- Suggest making the call a regular part of your week and plan the next one
- Alternatively, an email or a text can start a conversation, particularly if there is someone you have lost contact with as this might be the time to get back in touch.
Look for clubs and groups online
- Many clubs and groups, from choirs to writing groups to exercise classes, have been offering great activities and events online. You could search for the organisations and share links with friends and family who might be interested too
- Being part of a group who already have a shared interest with you is a great way to make connections even if you’re not in the same room.
- Volunteering is a really valuable way to meet people and connect and there are currently lots of ways to offer support to others who may be in a similar position to you, or who’s circumstances have become a lot harder
- You could sign up to talk to people over the phone, or help with practical tasks like collecting shopping and medicine, whilst following the social distancing rules.
- Full guidance on volunteering safely, including links to online platforms with volunteering opportunities, is available on the gov.uk website.
- To help you get started, there are some organisations listed below under ‘useful contacts’.
Finding a support group that suits you
- If you don’t have friends or family you can talk to, or you need to talk to someone impartial about your feelings, there are some organisations listed below that you could contact
- There is also very helpful advice on managing feelings of loneliness on the Campaign to End Loneliness website.
Every Mind Matters
0300 123 3393
Mind’s helplines provide information and support by phone and email.
Elefriends is a supportive online community where you can be yourself.
0800 169 65 65
Advice and information for older people.
0808 808 7777
Independent information and support for carers.
0300 100 1234
Counselling for adults with relationship difficulties.
24-hour support for anyone in distress or despair.
The Silver Line
Helpline: 0800 4 70 80 90 (freephone)
Provides support, information, advice and friendship to older people (over the age of 55) who may feel lonely or isolated. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Online community for parents
Online community for grandparents
Telephone friendship service for elderly and socially isolated