A connected society: A strategy for tackling loneliness: Laying the foundations for change

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, October 2018

This strategy sets out the approach to tackling loneliness in England. It marks a shift in the way we see and act on loneliness, both within government and in society more broadly. The strategy looks at what can be done to design in support for social relationships in this changing context. It  highlights the importance of social relationships to people’s health and wellbeing. By social wellbeing, it means our personal relationships and social support networks and the way these can bring happiness, comfort and resilience, adding to our overall wellbeing.

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An overview of reviews: the effectiveness of interventions to address loneliness at all stages of the life-course

What Works Wellbeing, October 2018

The review sought to address the question: What is the effectiveness of interventions to alleviate loneliness in people of all ages across the lifecourse? The results from controlled study designs in community settings and care homes showed no effect of interventions on loneliness, although this does not mean that loneliness is not alleviated at all by a range of interventions. In the published literature loneliness is seldom reported as a primary outcome; it is most often reported alongside other outcomes including related concepts such as social isolation, social support, social networks, and health outcomes including anxiety and depression.

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Making the economic case for investing in actions to prevent and/or tackle loneliness: a systematic review: a briefing paper

Campaign to End Loneliness, September 2017

This research, carried out by the London School of Economics, reviews the evidence on the economic impact of loneliness interventions. It finds that up to £3 of health care costs can be saved for every £1 spent on an effective intervention on loneliness.

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Reducing Social Isolation

Public Health England, September 2015

Outlines the problem of social isolation in relation to public health, identifying who is at risk of social isolation and what impact this has on health inequalities as well as possible interventions to reduce social isolation in identified populations.

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Peer support: what is it and does it work?

National Voices, May 2015

This review found evidence that peer support can help people feel more knowledgeable, confident and happy, and less isolated and alone. It also showed that there is a limited understanding of the different forms of peer support, how best to deliver support and the forms of training and infrastructure to get the most impact from it so concludes that further evidence is needed to fully understand the impact it has on the health service and individuals with long-term health conditions.

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Hidden Citizens: How can we identify the most lonely older adults?

Campaign to End Loneliness, April 2015

This report explores current understandings of, and approaches to, identifying loneliness and provides insights into how services can improve their outreach and better support people who are experiencing loneliness.

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Click here to view the summary.

Promising approaches to reducing loneliness and isolation in later life

Age UK, January 2015

This report raises concerns that the issue of chronic loneliness in older people is becoming a major public health challenge. The report sets out a new framework for understanding how to tackle the problem, presenting a range of projects and examples from around the country demonstrating the many, varied solutions needed for an effective response to a very personal problem.

Click here for further information and to download the report.