Tackling loneliness : a public health perspective

I’ve long been interested in social capital – a concept that draws attention to the complex ways in which our social connections serve as a resource. For the third edition of my short book on the subject I added a section on loneliness, which I saw as a neglected aspect of social capital, as it demonstrates the negative effects of having too few – or too weak – connections with others.

Since then, debate over loneliness has attracted widespread attention. This week’s edition of the Lancet carries a strongly worded editorial on the subject, triggered by a new and authoritative report on the risks and costs – social as well as financial – of loneliness. As we move towards policies of ‘social distancing’ in response to Covid-19, I thought it well worth sharing.

2 thoughts on “Tackling loneliness : a public health perspective

  1. The Lancet editorial is commendable, but I fear that the resources for a “personalised approach” will be severely limited, despite airy government promises, and the effect of Covid-19 could be detrimental for the foreseeable future.

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