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(Welsh Government) Connected communities - Tackling loneliness and social isolation

19 November 2018

Loneliness and social isolation are growing problems not just here in Wales but across the UK and beyond. And more of us now understand they can affect anyone, at any age, for a wide variety of reasons. They can, and do, have a significant impact on people’s physical and mental health.

As a government, we are committed to securing the best possible health, well-being and quality of life for all people in Wales.  Preventing people from becoming lonely and isolated must be a national priority for us, because it will not only improve people’s lives, but it will also help reduce demand for health and social services in the future.

The Welsh Government’s Programme for Government, Taking Wales Forward 2016-2021, therefore includes a commitment to develop a nationwide and cross-government strategy to address these issues. 

There is a wealth of evidence that demonstrates that loneliness and social isolation are significant issues affecting our older population.

Data from the Cognitive Function and Ageing Study – Wales found that 25.3% of older people (aged 65 and over) in Wales reported being lonely and 26.9% socially isolated.

In 2017, the National Assembly for Wales’ Health, Social Services and Sport Committee undertook a valuable inquiry in to loneliness and social isolation in respect of older people. However, in its report, published in December 2017, it acknowledged that evidence received highlighted that there were many other groups of people who also experience loneliness and social isolation. 

Our National Survey undertaken in 2016-17 showed that loneliness and social isolation can be experienced by people of all ages and at many stages of their lives and this has been supported by the engagement that we have undertaken to date.  Whilst it will be important to consider the needs of older people when looking at how we address loneliness and social solation, we intend that our final strategy will set out actions to address these problems across the life course. 

This consultation:

  • sets out our vision of the Wales we want to see, linked to the Welsh Government’s legislative and strategic frameworks.
  • sets out definitions of loneliness and social isolation
  • highlights what the evidence tells us and what we have heard through engagement with stakeholders so far. 
  • highlights the work that the Welsh Government has done and is continuing to do to tackle loneliness and social isolation and the links to the broader policy context. 
  • sets out our suggested approach for the future, and why, and where we think we should be focusing our efforts in partnership with others. 
  • poses a series of questions designed to facilitate discussion amongst organisations and individuals about what more needs to be done to effectively tackle loneliness and social isolation, including access to services.

Find out more information about the consultation

Read the consultation document

Getting Involved

If you are interested in leading or contributing to this consultation please contact [email protected].

The deadline for responses is Monday the 07th of January.

Please note:

  • The Society will only produce ONE response to any consultation.
  • Any response that goes under the Society logo MUST be signed off by the relevant Board Chair and Branch Chair in the case of Devolved Nations.
  • Responses on behalf of particular Divisions / Faculties /Member Networks are not permitted under any circumstances.
  • Please do refer to the British Psychological Society Consultation Processes document which is attached before writing and sending any comments
  • Please ensure that all comments are based on Published Evidence and not solely on Clinical opinion


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