People 'feeling more isolated and lonely'

Modern life is leaving people feeling increasingly isolated and lonely, a mental health charity said today.

One in 10 often feel lonely (11%) and half think that people are getting lonelier in general (48%), according to research released by the Mental Health Foundation.



More people are living alone than ever with the percentage of households occupied by one person doubling from 6% in 1972 to 12% in 2008.



The divorce rate also almost doubled in the past 50 years with figures showing one in three people would like to live closer to their family (35%).



The research, published in The Lonely Society?, illustrated that feeling lonely is not only common among the elderly.



Women are more likely than men to feel lonely sometimes (38% compared with 30%), according to the report.



People feel pressure to be "productive and busy", and as a consequence neglect vital relationships with friends and family, researchers said.



Andrew McCulloch, chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation, said: "Changes to the way we live are putting an increasing number of people at risk of loneliness, which can lead to health problems if chronic.



"People who find themselves feeling lonely should not have to feel uncomfortable talking about it or asking for help.



"By raising awareness of the subject we hope to tackle the stigma attached to loneliness and help individuals who are feeling lonely to connect with others."



Christopher Cloke, of the NSPCC, added: "Last year ChildLine received nearly 10,000 calls from children saying they felt lonely - an increase of 60% from five years ago.



"Loneliness has always been a part of some children's lives but it is deeply worrying that more children are contacting us about this. In the worst cases children became so desperate that they self-harm or even contemplate suicide."



* To read the report and for practical advice on how to combat loneliness, visit www.mentalhealth.org.uk

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Magento Front End Web Developer

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Front End Web Developer is re...

    Investigo: management accountant

    £250 - £300 per day: Investigo: Growing international marketing business requi...

    Recruitment Genius: ORM / Online Reputational Consultant

    £18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ORM Consultant is required t...

    Recruitment Genius: Facilities Manager

    £21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of educat...

    Day In a Page

    Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

    Greece elections

    In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
    Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

    Holocaust Memorial Day

    Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
    Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

    Magnetic north

    The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
    Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

    Front National family feud?

    Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
    Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

    Pot of gold

    Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
    10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

    From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

    While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
    Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

    'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

    Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
    DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

    The inside track on France's trial of the year

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
    As provocative now as they ever were

    Sarah Kane season

    Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

    Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore