This pack explores what loneliness is, how it can affect our mental health, and the different ways we can connect with ourselves, others and the world around us to feel less lonely.
Finding our connections to ourselves, others, and the world around us, is fundamental to protecting our mental health and reducing feelings of loneliness.
Loneliness is when we feel we do not have the meaningful relationships we want around us. It's something we can all experience from time to time, throughout our lives, and will be different for everyone.
A YouGov poll (2019) of 13 to 19-year-olds found 69% said they felt alone “often” or “sometimes” in the last fortnight, and 59% feel like they “often” or “sometimes have no one to talk to”.
It's important to support young people in recognising when they feel lonely, understanding their thoughts and feelings, and identifying their supportive connections.
Peer Educator - Peer Education Project
Usually, when I feel lonely I want to reach out to people. It doesn’t been to be an actual conversation, it can be just sending a funny meme to a friend or go and do something that makes me feel better, like playing a game. And when my friends feel lonely I make sure to reassure them and let them know how much their company is appreciated.
A teacher from Villiers High School
The students who took part in the workshops felt really proud that they were helping shape the resources for the school pack, and that sharing their lived experiences would mean the resources would be as best fit as possible, for other students and young people, facing the barriers they face in today’s society.
The Mental Health Foundation’s Peer Education Project is a secondary school-based project that gives older pupils the tools to deliver mental health lessons to younger pupils.
The project has worked with pupils and staff from participating secondary schools to create the Loneliness: Finding our connections to feel less lonely Schools Pack, which is available for all schools across the UK.
This school pack will provide the materials and resources needed to support pupils to understand what loneliness is, how it can make us feel, and where to find support. The pack is designed to be used in secondary schools, but it also has lots of useful information for primary schools. It's available in English and Welsh.
The pack includes:
- A lesson plan with PowerPoint slides and a script, as well as accompanying worksheets that have the option for greater individual pupil engagement on the topic
- An assembly plan with PowerPoint slides and script to support the development of a whole-school approach to loneliness and mental health
- Helpful guides for pupils, school staff, and parents/caregivers on understanding what loneliness is, how it can affect our mental health and how children and young can find connections with themselves, others, and the world around us to feel less lonely
- Posters to display within schools to encourage pupils to reach out for support when they feel lonely
Support for children and young people
Shout 85258 – a free, confidential, 24/7 text-messaging support service.
Support for school staff
Education Support – Education Support provides mental health and wellbeing support to teachers and education staff in schools, colleges and universities. Call free on 08000 562 561 to speak to a qualified counsellor. They will offer you immediate, confidential emotional support.
Support for parents and caregivers
Young Mind’s Parent Helpline and Webchat provides advice and support for parents and caregivers who are worried about a child or young person.
Register for our pack
This pack is available for all schools (free of charge). We’d encourage all schools who use this pack to support our charitable work by making a suggested £5 donation.
Please fill in the form below, and you will be redirected to a page with links to all the documents. Please note: the PDFs will download directly to your device, so please check out your 'downloads' file.