New report on the psychology of loneliness | Cruse Bereavement Care

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A report from the Campaign to End Loneliness is the first of its kind to look at how psychological approaches can help tackle loneliness.

Cruse was part of the advisory group for the report, which highlights that bereavement is one of the principle risk factors for loneliness, with 1 in 5 saying that loneliness was the hardest thing to cope with after losing a loved one. Life changes like bereavement can lead to a loss of confidence and make people withdraw from others. This behaviour can set off a ‘downward spiral’ of more negative thoughts and despair. If left unchecked, this can lead to chronic loneliness which is harder to tackle.

The Psychology of Loneliness comes at a time when, due to lockdown, more people than ever before are reporting feelings of loneliness. 

The report gathers evidence that mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and positive psychology are all approaches that can help people who are feeling lonely.  It also makes policy recommendations for how this learning can be applied and help the millions of lonely people across the UK.

Kate Shurety, Executive Director of the Campaign to End Loneliness said:

“As a result of lockdown millions of people say loneliness is affecting their wellbeing and there has been unprecedented action across all levels of government and society. The subject has never been more relevant. As meeting physically has often been impossible due to lockdown, there has been an increased understanding of the role of psychology to deal with loneliness. This report hopes to help people tackle their own loneliness and support people to better understand the emotional impact of their thoughts and feelings.”

Andy Langford from Cruse Bereavement Care said:

“All of us will experience bereavement in our lives. Being bereaved can be a hugely isolating experience, and feelings and chronic loneliness is not uncommon. For many, the death of someone close can create or deepen feelings of being alone.

“As the report finds, we know that the right support at the right time can help someone who is chronically lonely. Cruse provides this support through our network of 5000 incredible trained Bereavement Volunteers, including via one-to-one support. We would encourage anyone who is struggling to reach out, whether that’s to a friend or family, or a support service like Cruse.”

Read the full report here