Loneliness and Isolation
This page looks at loneliness and isolation from a strategic perspective, enabling organisations involved with health and wellbeing to better understand its impact on local people and services.
If you are looking for practical advice on coping with loneliness and where you can go for support there are resources available on the Mind loneliness web pages.
There is also help available designed specifically for older people living in Dudley Borough, through Dudley Council’s Pleased To Meet You scheme and the Good Neighbour Befriending scheme run by Age UK Dudley.
Me Learning offer a short online training course designed to raise awareness of the effects of loneliness and isolation on people's health and wellbeing. The website also shows what's on offer in local communities to increase an individual's social connections.
There is evidence to show that loneliness affects the lives of Dudley residents more than many other parts of the country. As well as the difficulties caused for local people, feelings of loneliness and isolated have been shown to contribute to the need to access health and social care services.
The Health and Wellbeing Board in Dudley has decided to make the reduction of loneliness and isolation one of its three strategic goals, the subjects on which it plans to focus its energy and resources (more details here). In this way it hopes to both improve people’s wellbeing and also reduce the demand on local services.
In order to be able to target services to areas of need, the Intelligence Team at Dudley Council has been working on measuring how the risk of loneliness is distributed across the Borough. In September 2018 we produced a poster on this subject for the Public Health England Annual Conference.
In addition, we are planning to improve the way that we measure the success (or otherwise) of services which aim to address loneliness.
Among a variety of recognised survey questions used for this purpose, the UCLA 3-item scale has started to yield results in Dudley. For example, it has been used to assess the state of loneliness of participants in courses delivered as part of the Self-Management Programme supported by Dudley Office of Public Health. Recent results can be viewed in our summary report.