Loneliness Awareness Week.

By Rosie
Loneliness Awareness.

June 12th - June 16th Loneliness Awareness Week

In 2017, the Marmalade Trust launched #LonelinessAwarenessWeek, an annual campaign with a simple aim to reduce the stigma of loneliness.

This awareness week is all about creating supportive communities by encouraging conversations with family, friends, and colleagues. Loneliness is completely normal, it's a natural emotion that we will all likely feel at some point in our lives.

Loneliness can mean different things to different people, being alone for one person can be a positive choice, giving them time to themselves, while for another it might highlight their need to spend their days socially interacting.

Even with people around we can still feel lonely, emotional loneliness is when we feel unseen, misunderstood or disconnected from the people around us.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, spending less time with family and friends, and working from home, led to more of us experiencing feelings of loneliness, for some, things returned to normal once isolating, shielding, and enforced working from home ended. For others, those feelings of loneliness may have lingered, and left unchecked, chronic, or long-term loneliness can develop into a mental health condition like anxiety or depression.

How can you as an employer support your staff?

Loneliness in the workplace is on the rise, costing businesses in the UK around £2.5 billion a year from increased sick days, time off to care for others, and reduced productivity.

Loneliness in the workplace can be attributed to the use of technology and more working from home.

Spotting the signs of loneliness can be difficult, loneliness is generally something we feel inside rather than on the outside, but lookout for employees appearing down, keeping themselves isolated or changes to the way they interact in the workplace.

Encourage open conversations – we will all experience some kind of loneliness, and it is nothing to be ashamed of, encouraging conversations in the workplace will allow people to identify loneliness and talk to others about their situation.

Check out these resources for more information:

NHS Loneliness

Marmalade Trust