The United Kingdom has appointed a MINISTER OF LONELINESS to deal with what Prime Minister Theresa May called “the sad reality of modern life” for too many people.
Last year, a British commission found that nearly nine million people in the country either often, or always, feel loneliness — a condition that can have harmful health repercussions.
“I want to confront this challenge for our society and for all of us to take action to address the loneliness endured by the elderly, by carers, by those who have lost loved ones — people who have no one to talk to or share their thoughts and experiences with.”
Prime Minister appointed Tracey Crouch. Crouch, whose official title is Minister for Sport and Civil Society, will devise a national strategy to tackle isolation across all ages, and find ways of measuring alienation in official statistics.
“We know that there is a real impact of social isolation and loneliness on people, on their physical and mental well-being but also on other aspects in society and we want to tackle this challenge,” she said.
May has made this move in honour of Labour MP Jo Cox who wanted to “shine a light” on loneliness.
The Jo Cox Loneliness Commission, set up to tackle one of the issues the late MP cared most passionately about, recommended that the Government make a minister responsible for a national strategy to combat loneliness.
Mrs Cox was murdered in 2016 in her constituency of Batley and Spen by Thomas Mair, a white supremacist. She was 41 years old and left a husband and two young children.
Physicians have long warned that social isolation is a growing epidemic that can have physical, mental and emotional consequences. It’s been associated with higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and more, according to research.
According to the government’s research, about 200,000 elderly people in the country have not had a conversation with a friend or a relative in over a month.