Loneliness has become a much talked about problem recently, with the Office for National Statistics revealing Britain to be the loneliness capital of Europe. Apparently we are less likely to have strong friendships or know our neighbours than residents anywhere else in Europe. Not only this, but a high proportion of us feel we have no one to rely on in times of crisis.
Up until now, studies have revealed loneliness to be a significant problem for the elderly – one study in particular found loneliness to be more damaging to older people’s health than obesity. What such studies have overlooked however is the effect loneliness has on younger adults.
In 2010 the Mental Health Foundation found loneliness to be a greater problem for younger people than the elderly, with 18 to 34-year-olds more likely to feel lonely often and worry about feeling alone.
“Loneliness is a recognised problem among the elderly – there are day centres and charities to help them, but when young people…