Mental Health Awareness week runs from 9 to 15 May and this year’s theme is all about loneliness.
We are leading a local awareness campaign to encourage Derbyshire to get involved and get connected.
The Covid-19 pandemic has increased many people’s feelings of isolation and being disconnected from the world around them.
Loneliness is a growing issue and levels of loneliness across the country have increased.
In 2020, according to a study by the Office of National Statistics, 5% of people (about 2.6 million adults) said that they felt lonely “often” or “always” and this increased to 7.2% in February 2021, according to a recent study.
Being socially connected is good for our mental wellbeing and helps protect against mental ill health.
Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Carol Hart said:
“Feeling lonely or isolated can have a negative impact on your mental health - especially if these feelings go on for a long time.
“So it's really important that we all work together to help tackle it. There’s lots of organisations and projects across Derbyshire who are working to help people feel more included and less alone.”
In Derbyshire the highest percentage of people reporting that they felt lonely often or always were in Bolsover (9.85%) and Erewash (9.61%).
We are working in partnership with local voluntary sector organisations to tackle loneliness and improve social connections and there are lots of projects across Derbyshire getting involved.
There are plenty of things that you can do to help if you, or someone you know, may be feeling isolated.
For example you can check on a neighbour or phone a friend you haven’t spoken to for a while.
Volunteering is a good way to feel more connected to the community you live in, or you might think about taking up a new hobby or skill.