Youth loneliness is an issue of our time. There is considerable awareness of issues about loneliness and social isolation in older people, however recent attention is turning to the serious health issues for younger people and young adults.
With the appointment of the Minister for Loneliness it is apparent that recent media, civil society, research activity and not least the campaigning and advocacy of the Jo Cox Commission is ensuring loneliness is taken seriously.
Younger people can face difficulties when adjusting to life’s changes, or seeking a sense of belonging among others who share similar goals and interests. Social media, which is designed to connect, can add to feelings of isolation or provide pressure to conform or appear popular.
Most young people need to readjust to big changes through their teenage years or early adulthood. Transition from one stage of life to another often means a shift in identity, which challenges our sense of self. Establishing a new identity can take time, as can finding and connecting with others who seem to think like us.
Whether old or young, most people have a strong need to feel a sense of belonging and connection with like-minded others. Communities can provide a sense of identity and belonging, which protects people from feeling lonely or isolated in times of change. Having a hub of people with shared experiences, passions or culture, having a hub of people to connect with is good for our health and well-being.
The first step to end loneliness is to show we care. The aim of the Loneliness Connects Us Seminar, 23 June, at St Michael’s Hall, Whitefield, is to raise the awareness of loneliness, by participating and creating an environment where young and older people and professionals in health care, can share ideas and create projects to End Loneliness.
The Loneliness Connects Us project is youth co-research project, developed by MMU and 42nd Street, to bring the voice of young people into the growing conversation about youth loneliness and answer these questions.
For more information on this event and to register please follow this link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/loneliness-connects-us-seminar-tickets-45481045030