Loneliness is best tackled by a system wide approach involving all partners, particularly the voluntary and community sector, under the strategic leadership of a Health and Wellbeing Board.
- Loneliness can affect people of all ages throughout the life course; the largest group experiencing loneliness are older people, while young people aged 16-24 are most likely to report feeling lonely.
- Loneliness has a major impact on individuals – on their lives, their relationships and their wellbeing. It is a societal issue as well as a serious public health concern which can be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Tackling loneliness is a preventative measure that improves quality of life for individuals and reduces long-term costs for health and social care.
- Loneliness is best tackled by a system wide approach involving all partners, particularly the voluntary and community sector, under the strategic leadership of a Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB).
- Councils make a significant contribution to the mental wellbeing of their local communities, including preventing and tackling loneliness. However, the funding crisis facing the sector means a focus on high need health and social care and less money for prevention and the wider council services that help to improve mental wellbeing and reduce loneliness.
- Local government in England faces an overall funding gap of almost £8 billion by 2025 just to maintain services at current levels. The next Spending Review will be make or break for local services and must recognise the urgent need to tackle the funding gap facing local government to improve the lives of residents and reduce pressure on other parts of the public sector.