Cityvisitor blog

Loneliness minister is announced

A new minister has been appointed to tackle loneliness in the UK – following a report that found being lonely was as bad for your health as smoking.

A campaign against loneliness was originally started by the late MP Jo Cox, who was murdered in her constituency.

Tracey Crouch MP has been announced as the minister for loneliness to continue the campaign. She said: “This is an issue that Jo cared passionately about and we will honour her memory by tackling it, helping the millions of people across the UK who suffer from loneliness.”

Prime Minister Theresa May added: “Jo Cox recognised the scale of loneliness across the country and dedicated herself to doing all she could to help those affected.”

The Campaign to End Loneliness says over half of people over 75 live alone and 59% of adults aged over 52 who report poor health say they feel lonely some of the time.

The campaign also reports that being lonely is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and the onset of disability. It says social networks and friendships reduce the risk of mortality or developing certain diseases and also help individuals to recover when they do fall ill.

It is terribly sad to think how many people are suffering from loneliness and how much this is impacting on their lives. The campaign hopes to change this by involving more organisations and encouraging community action, creating more services and activities and by creating ways to reach out to the most lonely people in society.

This sounds like a great initiative.

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