Many clients we see here at Carlisle Eden Mind suffer from loneliness……

Loneliness impacts mental health significantly and sometimes addressing loneliness issues and finding solutions to that is the answer to someone feeling overall much better.

Anyone who works in mental health will tell you they meet many lonely people on their caseloads and anyone who has, or is, struggling with their mental health can probably highlight a personal insight into a period of loneliness they have felt at some stage in their lives.

If you have ever felt lonely for a length of time you will no doubt be able to remember that feeling. It is hard to forget. Feeling like you are on your own in life with all your problems, fears and uncertainties can be harrowing for some people. It is also safe to say that a person can feel lonely in a crowded room of people they know, amongst their family members with friends , or surrounded by people at work.

Loneliness is individual, it can be a state of distress or discomfort that can be enduring and cause many health issues physical as well as mental.

I think we can naturally assume that it can and does cause a decline in our mental health but the implications on our physical health can also lead to long term health issues.

As humans we need connection to thrive.

A lot of our client facing work at Carlisle Eden Mind brings up the subject of loneliness. One of the questions people are asked by our Crisis Workers is have you any support around you? We  understand that the people who don’t see anyone much at all , and isolate indoors a lot alone have nobody to talk to about any issues they may be faced with. Any thoughts they have ,have to be addressed by themselves. This means that a lot of the time there is no other perspective on their thoughts and so they come to their own conclusions. A person can then believe their own thoughts whatever they are , and live with them as if they are true, even if in reality they  may not be. This can lead to extreme anxiety, anger, misunderstanding and even disillusion and suicidal thoughts.

It is good to get other ways of looking at your problem or another perspective from another person or people so we don’t just assume we know that what we are thinking is actually true.

It is therefore important for anyone who feels lonely to contact services and for the rest of us to encourage anyone we may feel is living a lonely life to contact our services such as Mindline 0300 561 0000, The Lighthouse  and You in Mind or others such as Age UK and Samaritans .

Not only do these services offer a safe place to talk about thoughts and feelings but the sessions with a Crisis Worker will also help to signpost the individual to community activities. This may be anything from volunteering work, events in the area, or refer to our Coach at You in Mind for support to address any areas they feel stuck with and unable to move forward. All of which may help to alleviate their isolating feelings and chronic feelings of loneliness.

Going to places to be around other people like shops, parks and even join groups where you don’t have to talk at all if you don’t want to may help.

We have a couple of people who come along to out 2 weekly Breathing Space talking groups on Fridays who just like to sit and listen to group conversations but remain fairly silent but at the same time getting a feeling of belonging that really helps boost their mood and meets their need for connection.

Anyone who is autistic and finds themselves largely alone can contact Team Autism on 07748350587 and meet with other autistic people, learn more about Autism, share experiences and share a social life.

We can try to do something about loneliness collectively by taking notice of other people around us more often. Even just smiling at someone could help them feel better. You could look out for that neighbour you don’t see much or that man who walks with his head down maybe say Hello now and again? 

There are so many people in this world, in this city, on your street and even in your own home that are lonely.

Please be kind and reach out to them. You might  just ease their loneliness or even help save their life.

written by Lisa Anderson – You In Mind Manager (views expressed are employees own)