Banish winter blues by looking out for the lonely, urge campaigners

Banish winter blues by looking out for the lonely, urge campaigners

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The Jo Cox Foundation says 77 per cent of people still feel there’s a stigma to talking about loneliness. And research by the charity, which is launching its annual Great Winter Get Together next week, found that the concerning figure rises to 91 per cent among young people.

Only a quarter polled said they would feel comfortable telling a friend or relative if they felt lonely, but half would feel positive if a friend or relative approached them for support.

Foundation CEO Su Moore said: “At this difficult time of the year we need to have the courage to talk about loneliness, even if it feels uncomfortable.

“Our research shows that among young people, the most helpful way to tackle loneliness is the support of friends and family.

“So we want everyone to know there’s no shame in sharing.”

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The foundation was launched in 2016 by friends and family of Labour MP Jo Cox, who was murdered that year by a far-Right extremist, to continue her work fighting for a more compassionate society.

The campaign begins on Blue Monday next week and lasts until January 30. Last year, 3.5 million people participated.

Ms Moore said: “Taking action could look like checking in with a friend who’s going through a big life change; bringing up the topic in your new parents’ group; organising a walk in your community so people can connect; or simply letting someone you trust know when you’re feeling lonely.

“Sometimes the ‘smallest’ actions actually make the biggest difference.”

The campaign is backed by comedian Judi Love. The Loose Women panellist and Strictly Come Dancing competitor, 41, said: “Loneliness can affect anyone. Feeling you have no access to loved ones, when you’re facing challenges and even when you’re accomplishing great achievements.

“We just sometimes want to share the moment with someone.

“There will be many occasions during which we have to stand alone and face ourselves. However, never be afraid or ashamed to say you’re feeling a bit lonely.”

To find out more, visit www.greatgettogether.org/gwgt2022

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