I had previously blogged on the state of loneliness and the efforts being made in the UK with the creation of a Minister of Loneliness. We know that this is also a huge problem in own backyard and one that we continue to need to be aware of. My colleague recently shared a new campaign originating in the UK called the “End Loneliness” with a conference in October 2018 touted as the ‘world’s largest conference dedicated to tackling loneliness’. This wonderful video reminds us ‘when making friends was child’s play’.
The campaign was launched in 2011 and is a “network of national, regional organisations and people working together through community action, good practice, research and policy. We want to ensure that loneliness is acted upon as a public health priority at national and local levels.” It is designed to inspire thousands of organizations and people to do more to tackle loneliness in older age. Stats from the UK found that 5% of adults in England report feeling lonely “often” or “always” with younger adults (those 16-24) more likely to experience loneliness than those in older age groups. I found this interesting yet it comes as no surprise given most everyone I see on the TTC is looking at their phone.
Modeled from this campaign my colleague’s idea is to have the video play in local coffee shops so that the type of connection highlighted, if only just for a minute, would connect with the many who live in their world with loneliness. Consider in addition to ‘roll up the rim to win’ that we consider ‘make a new friend for a minute’.