Mental Health Awareness Week 2022

The theme of this Mental Health Awareness Week is loneliness, and across this week we are aiming to build meaningful relationships across Compassionate Care. Loneliness affects many of us at one time or another, and it can result in poor mental wellbeing. In fact, it is reported that 45% of adults feel occasionally, sometimes or often lonely in England – this equates to 25 million people. Loneliness can affect anyone at any time in their lives, and can stick around for a long time. It may be triggered by big life changes such as bereavement, retiring, moving or sometimes it can have no specific trigger at all.

What are the signs that someone you love may be lonely?

They get stuck on the negatives. Research shows that people who are lonely tend to dwell on their bad experiences – perhaps because they don’t have someone to talk about it. If someone is hanging onto the negative things, it may be a sign that they need someone to talk to.

When someone feels lonely they may attempt to distract themselves with the other things in their lives, which can cause them to become attached to their possessions or hobbies. Similarly, loneliness can also lead to increased consumption, so if someone is spending too much money on unnecessary things they might need more human interaction in their lives.

One of the main signs is if someone is spending a lot of time alone. Whilst some people genuinely enjoy their own company, others might isolate themselves. Not everyone who spends time alone is lonely, but a combination of the above behaviours may indicate that they need extra support.

So, how can you support someone who is experiencing feelings of loneliness?

Although there are sometimes signs that someone might be struggling, it can still be difficult to recognise when someone may be lonely. The best way to find out if someone is feeling lonely is to talk to them about it. Showing someone you’re there and talking about their feelings can help put things into perspective and bring some relief.

People who are experiencing loneliness may find it difficult to connect at first, especially if they have been feeling lonely for a long time. Take time to check in on them and reassure them that these feelings are completely normal. Once someone becomes comfortable and starts to share how they’re feeling, it’s important to listen. The Samaritans explain that it’s best to try to listen without offering advice, comparing experiences or trying to solve their problems. Just listening can help someone work through what’s on their mind.

At Compassionate Care Group we are dedicated to supporting our clients navigate through difficult circumstances. Our team are trained in recognising the signs of mental health and supporting the wellbeing of all our clients. Our Supported Living team encourage social interactions with a big emphasis on getting involved in the local community. This could look like participating in volunteering opportunities, discovering new hobbies and regular exercise sessions. But we also recognise the small things that are important too, whether it be a brew, a chat or a walk. Our team work to build strong relationships to become familiar faces and a comforting presence to our clients. Our passionate team also create personalised planners and organise one to one’s to support anyone going through a tough time. If you’re interested in learning more about our Supported Living services please click here.