If you are keen to help tackle loneliness among young people in your neighbourhood, we’ve compiled a range of free online materials that you can use to spread the word and raise awareness about the problem, and help young people to overcome destructive feelings of isolation and loneliness. These include:
- Further research, data and information about loneliness
- Advice for children and young people
- Advice for parents, carers and other adults worried about lonely youngsters
- Advice for charities and other organisations about ensuring their project helps to reduce loneliness
- A powerpoint presentation you can use to share this information with your local community
Advice for children and young people
- Action for Children has produced Tips for Young People about combatting loneliness.
- ChildLine has a similar section too on its Feeling lonely? webpage
- YoungMinds has published a blog from 20-year-old Laura about how to deal with homesickness or loneliness at university
- Mind, the mental health charity, has published a report that explains loneliness and offers practical suggestions for what people can do and where to go for support. View the report here.
- Become is an advice line for people in care, leaving care, or supporting someone who is. Freephone 0800 023 2033 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Mix offers a Crisis Messenger text support service at 0808 808 4994, which operates from 4pm to 11pm each day. Their telephone counselling service is also available to anyone aged 25 and under. Find out more at www.themix.org.uk
- Cambridge University researcher Olivia Remes delivered a TEDx Talk in Newcastle called How to get rid of loneliness and become happy
- In this short film from WhizzKids, the Kidz Board discuss work they are doing to address loneliness. They share their own personal experiences and solutions for tackling loneliness among young wheelchair users. View the video here.
Advice for parents, carers and other adults
- Action for Children has produced tips for parents who may be struggling with loneliness themselves or worried about their kids. View the article here.
- Mumsnet has a thread about loneliness on its forums page here.
- HuffPost has an article for parents about how to tell if your child is feeling lonely and what you might do to help them
- The NSPCC also has some tips for parents on this page
- If you suspect a child or young person is being bullied, the Anti-Bullying Alliance has published a guide for parents and carers. Bracknell Forest Council also has one here.
- Dutch researcher Gerine Lodder delivered a TEDx Talk in Groningen called What you don't know about adolescent loneliness which identifies three main causes of adolescent loneliness and the importance of breaking the taboos surrounding it
- With funding from John Lyon’s Charity, Exposure worked with students from North London over three months to develop creative responses to youth loneliness. Four short videos were produced. This is the entire collection.
- That’s Manchester TV reports on The Loneliness Project, an initiative from a group of local charities working with 14 to 25-year-olds in Manchester to discover where loneliness comes from
- Co-founder of No Isolation, Karen Dolva, delivered a talk at TEDxArendal in Norway called All the lonely people which presents her solutions to the loneliness epidemic: creating technology that fosters face-to-face interactions, and talking about the problem
Advice for charities and organisations
NPC, the think tank that helps charities increase their impact, has produced a top tips guide to help organisations ensure that their project reduces loneliness – this could be of particular assistance to Neighbourhood Watch groups.
In this film by social enterprise RJ Working, teams of restorative coaches at three schools in Cornwall co-designed a consultation workshop for Year 7 about loneliness, social media and outdoor spaces. View the video here.
- The Government’s loneliness strategy, A connected society, was published in October 2018
- In January 2018, the Prime Minister tasked the Office for National Statistics (ONS) with developing national indicators of loneliness suitable for use on major studies to inform future policy in England, including people across society and of all ages. View the report here.
- At the end of 2017 Action for Children published It Starts with Hello, a report examining the impact of loneliness on children, young people and families, in partnership with the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness
- In March 2019 the Children’s Society published Loneliness in Childhood – Exploring loneliness and wellbeing among 10–17 year olds
- Barnardo’s in 2019 produced Left to their Own Devices, a report investigating the links between young people’s use of social media and their mental health.
- Someone to Care is another Barnardo’s report, from 2014, exploring young people’s experiences of leaving care. This found that most of the 62 care leavers interviewed for the research lived alone and “found it tough and lonely”. View the report here.
- In 2015, ACEVO, the membership body for charity chief executives, published Left Out in the Cold, a report on youth loneliness, particularly in London
- The Molly Rose Foundation is a charity set up after the tragic suicide of 17-year-old Molly Russell in 2017, to help prevent other young people taking their own lives. Find info, statistics and advice for young people here.