During Loneliness Awareness Week, which takes place from Monday 10 June to Sunday 16 June, people in the Black Country are being encouraged to get talking and connect with others.

Feeling lonely can mean different things to different people. Some people will feel that their needs for social interaction is not being met, while for others it is that feeling of emptiness and being disconnected from the rest of the world. Anyone can be affected by loneliness, and everyone’s experience is different.

Loneliness can have a huge impact on an individual’s physical and mental wellbeing, but there are lots of simple actions people can take to help lift themselves, or others, out of loneliness. This includes:

  • Speaking to someone - It can be hard to admit you’re lonely, but doing so can help you connect with others (not to mention help others in a similar situation). Try sharing how you feel with someone you trust, or even online if anonymity helps, all contact can remind you that you’re not alone. Regular chats with friends and family can help to combat loneliness. Just talking to someone in that moment can really help when you feel alone – and help the person you contact.
  • Joining a group - Being part of a group or club is a great way to connect with and meet people. Look for groups to join in person or online that focus on things you like or activities you would like to try. If you're in a group, remember to always welcome others and involve them, as it can really help anyone who might be shy or lack confidence when meeting new people.
  • Doing things you enjoy - Filling your time doing things you like might be a way to stop you from focusing on your loneliness, which can also help improve your wellbeing. Spending time outdoors in green spaces, taking part in exercise or sport, reading, and listening to podcasts and radio shows are a great way to boost your mood and also keep your mind occupied.
  • Connecting with others - Think about people you know who might be feeling lonely and try to connect with them. This might also make you feel less lonely too. If you pass someone you recognise, try smiling and saying hello. And if you start chatting, you could swap phone numbers or suggest joining or setting up a local group together. Getting to know people in your area can help with social isolation, especially when moving somewhere new.

By taking one of the actions listed above, it might help you feel less lonely, and you could lift someone out of loneliness too.

If the feelings of loneliness are constant, it may be time to consider reaching out to a mental health professional. Sometimes loneliness gets to the point where people are continuing to struggle or simply don’t have the support, they need to manage their emotions and feelings. If the symptoms continue, this can have a significant impact on mental health, so if this is the case, please reach out for help.  

If you need to reach out and speak to someone about feeling lonely, you can visit the NHS Every Mind Matters website for further advice and support.

If you’re experiencing stress, feelings of anxiety or low mood the NHS mental health hub has advice, audio guides and practical tools to help.

You can also find a list of local support services in the Black Country on the NHS Black Country ICB website.

You might also be interested in...