'Loneliness' to be included in PSHE classes

As part of the government's first loneliness strategy, which was launched today (15 October), 'loneliness' will be embedded into relationships education classes so children and young people can learn about loneliness and the value of social relationships. Loneliness will also feature in the Department for Education’s resources for teaching from September 2020.

According to research, three quarters of GPs surveyed have said they are seeing between one and five people a day suffering with loneliness, which is linked to a range of damaging health impacts, like heart disease, strokes and Alzheimer’s disease. Around 200,000 older people have not had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month.

Now GPs in England will be able to refer patients experiencing loneliness to community activities and voluntary services by 2023, known as ‘social prescribing’.

As part of the long-term plan for the NHS, funding will be provided to connect patients to a variety of activities, such as cookery classes, walking clubs and art groups, reducing demand on the NHS and improving patients’ quality of life.

Read more