Of lone­li­ness

Irish Independent - Health & Living - - UPDATE -

LONE­LI­NESS is one of the great­est pub­lic health risks to­day. One in every 10 older peo­ple suf­fers from chronic lone­li­ness, and the prob­lem is now also preva­lent in young peo­ple, ac­cord­ing to Sean Moynihan, chief ex­ec­u­tive of char­ity Alone.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion has now set up a task force on lone­li­ness with Se­na­tor Keith Swan­ick to in­crease aware­ness about the is­sue and to pro­duce a set of rec­om­men­da­tions for Gov­ern­ment, state agen­cies and all pol­icy mak­ers.

The Lone­li­ness Task­force is made up of a range of peo­ple from the com­mu­nity and vol­un­tary sec­tor, nurs­ing, sport, busi­ness, medicine, youth work, psy­chi­a­try.

They are call­ing on any in­di­vid­ual, group or or­gan­i­sa­tion to put for­ward ideas to in­put into a re­port.

Se­na­tor Swan­ick, who is a GP, added: “The de­ci­sion to es­tab­lish the Lone­li­ness Task­force arises from a pas­sion to ad­dress the epi­demic of lone­li­ness and so­cial iso­la­tion.

“Every day of my pro­fes­sional life I meet peo­ple who are lonely and this lone­li­ness can have a dev­as­tat­ing im­pact on the men­tal and phys­i­cal health of peo­ple, with cor­re­spond­ing chal­lenges for pub­lic ser­vices to meet these de­mands.”

Oth­ers in the task force in­clude Dr Brian Lawlor, a pyschi­a­trist at St James’s Hospi­tal, and Pro­fes­sor John Hillery, Pres­i­dent of the Col­lege of Psy­chi­a­trists of Ire­land.

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