The government is being called on to invest 5 million euro to combat loneliness in Ireland.
Ireland is the loneliest country in Europe.
New research from the European Commission has found 20 per cent of us feel lonely most or all of the time – compared to the EU average of 13 per cent.
It’s prompted the Loneliness Taskforce to call for greater support services for those who are isolated in society.
It says loneliness leads to poor mental health and is often a precursor to depression.
The charity ALONE is one of its members.
Its CEO Sean Moynihan says the State must protect the most vulnerable:
‘In some cases there’s areas where we probably need more research.’
‘We create plans and interventions across all age groups, that is specifically aimed at reducing loneliness.’
The Taskforce is calling for an investment of 5 million euro to help combat the situation.
There’s been an increase in people suffering the adverse mental and physical effects of being isolated since the pandemic.
Sean Moynihan says everyone is feeling the impact:
‘Everybody is reporting increased levels of loneliness and both the physical and mental health impact of that happening.’