People in Leicestershire are being urged to make a pledge to help fight the hidden epidemic of loneliness, which research suggests is as great a threat to health as smoking and obesity.
The ‘post it, pledge it, mean it’ social media campaign from Leicestershire Health and Wellbeing Board, part of Leicestershire County Council, has been set up to raise awareness about the detrimental effects of social isolation.
1 in 10 people over the aged of 65 in the UK report feelings of loneliness and research has shown that lacking social connections is as damaging to our health as smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day.
The campaign, supported by the Leicestershire Better Care Fund (BCF), has been shared with partners, district and borough councils and local organisations so we can work together to improve the lives of people that feel alone in Leicestershire.
Loneliness is a killer and contributes more to the mortality rate than people realise. We can all play our part by checking on family, friends or even neighbours. At this time of year especially, everyone should be helping to keep others safe and spot the signs if something seems out of the ordinary. A little support and a friendly face could make a real difference to someone who is feeling alonePerson:Councillor Ernie White, chairman of the Leicestershire health and wellbeing board.
"If you can help in any way at all, with someone you know, or even with someone you don’t I’d encourage you to visit the website and find out more. Making a commitment to the campaign shows your support to end loneliness in Leicestershire," added Councillor White.
Pledging to have a chat, share memories or learn a new skill together could make a significant difference to someone who is feeling lonely.
You can find out how to spot the signs of loneliness, ideas of things you could do to help and make your pledge at www.healthandcareleicestershire.co.uk/reducing-loneliness.
Join the conversation and share your pledge on social media @LeicsHWB with #quitloneliness