Feeling lonely?

What is Loneliness?

We all feel lonely at some point in our lives. It is perfectly normal to feel lonely, as it is a sign that as humans, we often enjoy the company of others. Loneliness can be felt momentarily or it may be felt for much longer. People who feel lonely often do not acknowledge these emotions or tell others and so it becomes hidden. Feeling lonely can lead to more serious health problems such as depression. It has been found the loneliness can impact upon a person’s health as much as smoking 15 cigarettes per day.

An event such as moving into a new home or the death of a loved one may increase feelings of loneliness. If you are feeling lonely or you’re worried about someone you care for who may be feeling lonely support is available. It can be useful to think of positive ways to overcome any feelings of loneliness that you may be experiencing.

Ways to overcome feelings of loneliness

There are many ways to help combat feelings of loneliness. It may help to socialise with others, to make new friends or to get in touch with friends and family.

Meet new people

Keep in touch or reconnect with family and friends

Loneliness and health

Prolonged isolation and feelings of loneliness have been found to have negative effects on health. You may find other articles within the Health section on InformationNOW which may be useful.

Speak to your GP who can refer you to link workers through social prescribing.

NHS Care Volunteer Responder service is a free telephone service for people who are vulnerable, isolated or lonely. Volunteers will call you to check in and chat. The service is free and you don’t need to be referred by a doctor. You can have one off or regular phone calls from a volunteer. They will have a chat and listen to you. They can help you explore changes you can make tin your life. For example to connect with others, become more physically active, to learn new skills or volunteer. They can signpost you to other services and support in the community.

Local help and support

Read more on InformationNOW about places where you can find friends enjoy food and meet people.

Chain Reaction is a service commissioned by Newcastle City Council that supports older people (55+) to live independently in the community.

By promoting the use of community-based resources and facilities, Chain Reaction helps people to lead happier, healthier lives. It supports and sustains friendships in order to combat social isolation and to increase a sense of good emotional health and wellbeing

Chain Reaction is provided by three partner organisations:

Together they have knowledge and experience of working with older people, those who have a learning disability, and people with poor mental health.

Ways to Wellness service helps people in the West of Newcastle to manage their long-term conditions, which may include activities such as:

  • Getting involved in local groups and activities
  • Accessing specialist services and support
  • Healthy eating and getting more active
  • Getting support around benefits and welfare rights

Campaign to end loneliness  has more ideas and information on how to combat feeling lonely.

The Jo Cox Foundation runs the The Great Winter and Summer Get Together. A series of events where you can meet people, get talking and join in activities.

The Silver Line is the confidential, free helpline for older people across the UK open every day and night of the year. Specially trained helpline staff offer

  • information, friendship and advice
  • signposting to local groups and services
  • regular befriending calls
  • protection and support to those who are suffering abuse and neglect

The Mix is a UK digital support service for young people. Reach out through phone, chat or email.

Befriending schemes

There are local services that run befriending services. They will help you to get out and about to meet new people.

Read more on InformationNOW

Telephone befriending

When you’re not able to get out and about to meet new people having a regular phone call with a friendly person can be a great way to connect with other people.

Telephone befriending schemes can arrange for a volunteer to call you for a chat. Read more on InformationNOW.

Last updated: August 11, 2023