Tackling loneliness in children and young people could save lives
Samaritans Assistant Director, Research & Influencing, Jacqui Morrissey responds to Office of National Statistics (ONS) data on loneliness among children and young people
"Every suicide is complex, but we know loneliness is a risk factor. Given that suicides in young people have increased in recent years, it’s even more critical that we try to understand why this might be and how to reduce that risk.
"We’ve been talking to young people across the country about loneliness, echoing these findings, and many of them told us about the stigma they’ve faced in talking about their loneliness and the role this played in preventing them accessing support.
"While we will all probably feel lonely at some point in our lives, when people feel lonely most or all the time this can have a serious impact on a person’s emotional and physical wellbeing.
"We know that wider societal factors – childhood trauma, transitions into adulthood, difficult family relationships – can have a major role in fuelling youth loneliness, and it’s useful to see more detail from young people revealed in this data.
"The upcoming ten-year NHS plan should set out ambitious new targets to improve wellbeing in young people, including tackling loneliness. On a local level, much more funding is needed for services to rebuild our disconnected communities and support young people before they get to a point where it’s too late."
For more information or interviews, please contact email@example.com or 020 8394 8300.
For more information on ONS’ data, please see more here.
Please see Samaritans’ Media Guidelines For The Reporting of Suicide here.
Note to Editors:
- You can call Samaritans for free in confidence any time from any phone, even a mobile without credit, on 116 123 (this number will not appear on your phone bill). Or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch where you can talk to one of our trained volunteer face to face.
- Samaritans responds to more than 5 million calls for help every year. Your money or your time could save a life. Find out how you can support us: https://www.samaritans.org/support-us