Paula Bradshaw MLA, Alliance Party Health Spokesperson, has said we must ensure we reach the most unreachable in society, as she spoke after the All Party Group on Loneliness meeting, part of Loneliness Awareness Week.
She said: “It was a timely meeting, with 75 online participants, all coming together to discuss how we can work together to address loneliness and social isolation as we move through and out of the Covid-19 pandemic. Before we went into lockdown, one in five people reported feeling loneliness, and I am sure that this has been increased experientially during this period of shielding and staying at home.
“GPs and voluntary sector organisations have reported a sharp rise in reports of mental ill health, anxiety and depression. So, never has it been more important to focus our energies for putting in support programmes and services right across our communities. These programmes must come in a range of forms to ensure that we reach the most unreachable in society; and this will involve appropriate levels of funding.”