Loneliness affects the mental health of millions of people across the UK.
This year, with Mental Health Awareness Week we raised awareness of the link between loneliness and mental health issues. We explored the effect of inequalities on loneliness, as well as shared help and advice, while also calling for policy change. Overcoming loneliness and its effect on mental health cannot be achieved by the individual action of people alone. We must address loneliness together in our communities and across the whole of society.
You can help support this year by donating to help programmes like these to continue their fight for good mental health for all.
Picture This helps people in later life who are experiencing digital exclusion, through creative projects that bring people together online. Delivered by the Mental Health Foundation and supported by Lloyds Bank, the project responds to the COVID-19 pandemic when the Foundation recognised many people in later life are digitally excluded. This can lead to loneliness, which we know can result in mental health problems including anxiety and depression.
The Perthyn Project
Perthyn, meaning ‘belonging’ in Welsh, was a women’s only partnership project between the Mental Health Foundation and the British Red Cross. It created a space where refugee and asylum-seeking women could talk about ‘heartfelt’ issues, create new friendships and improve their emotional literacy in English and decrease isolation.
Covid Response Programme
The Mental Health Foundation is investing £2m through the Covid Response Programme to deliver targeted support for lone parents, refugees, people from Black and minority ethnic communities, and people living with long term health conditions. Projects include Young Mums Connect, a three-year programme in Nottingham and Greenwich to support young vulnerable mothers and their children. This offers peer support to improve mental health and bring young mothers and their babies together in weekly creative activities and group discussions.
The Mental Health Foundation has been working with refugees and asylum seekers for several years. Current projects include Voice and Visibility and educational films for mental wellbeing. Voice and Visibility, The New Scots is an initiative funded by Glasgow City Council (GCC), which aims to increase the representation of people from refugee backgrounds on civic forums (decision-making and consultation forums) in Glasgow. This builds on previous work by directly linking refugees with parent councils and HSCP forums across Glasgow. MHF has been working to support refugees and asylum seekers to facilitate and sustain their connection in civic agencies linked to health, housing and education. Previous project evaluation showed that “when people feel linked into their local communities, whether that be a school, housing association or community group, it has a positive impact on wellbeing”.