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Feeling Lonely

Commonly known as: sadness, emptiness, isolation, loneliness

Feeling Lonely

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Feeling lonely and mental wellbeing

We can all feel lonely at times. Everyone’s experience will be different; some people feel lonely in a crowd of people. Loneliness can be described as a feeling of sadness and emptiness that leaves us feeling alone and isolated. Feeling lonely can affect people of all ages.

Having positive social connections is important for our mental health. We all vary in how much we seek out, and enjoy, the company of others. But basically, as humans we all need to have positive interactions with other people.

There are many causes for feeling lonely such as

  • Breakdown in a relationship
  • A new baby
  • Bereavement
  • Looking after someone, having a caring role
  • Retirement/Loss of work and the social connections we make while in work
  • Moving to a new home/area where we don’t know anyone
  • Certain times of year, such as Christmas
  • A mental health difficulty that makes it hard for you to connect with others
  • Isolation due to poor health or disability

Whilst loneliness isn’t a mental health problem it can affect your mental health and wellbeing.

Self-help advice

  • You may find it helpful to get involved in activities going on in your local area. Become connected with your local community. Find out what’s going on in your area by visiting our ‘in your area’ page.
  • If you struggle with confidence and want some help getting involved in local activities then visit our ‘In Your Area’ page to find a free service that help make these connections. There are local services such as Community Connectors or Wellbeing Connectors/Coordinators that help reconnect people with their communities, for example linking people together who have similar interests.
  • Take a look at our self-help resources below for ideas on how to become and feel more connected.
  • There is a free befriending service just for people who live in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area. Frindi I Mi (or Friend of mine) has been developed to make sure that anyone who feels lonely or isolated are supported to reconnect with their communities. See our self-help resources below for more information.
  • You may want to try volunteering.  When people contribute to their local communities in this way, it can boost your confidence and help build social connections  – for local volunteering opportunities contact GAVO or if you live in Torfaen – Volunteering TVA.
  • There are simple things we can all do to help look after our mental health. For example, some people find connecting with others really helpful when they are feeling lonely. Visit our ‘looking after yourself’ section for more information and advice.
  • See our topic links if the reasons for your loneliness are due to a mental health problem e.g. social anxiety, low mood or depression
  • You don’t need to experience these feelings alone. Contact a friend or relative, or speak to someone on a charity helpline, see below.
  • Sometimes you just need to hear a voice at the end of the phone. There are many charities which run helplines, some are for specific groups such as the free confidential helpline for older people The Silver Line. See our helplines section below.
  • If you or someone you know need urgent help – go to our ‘urgent help’ page immediately.

If you need further help managing loneliness

If the information, advice, resources and courses on this page have not been helpful and/or you think you need more help, there are many free support services available.

If you are worried about your general mental health and live in Wales, phone NHS Mental Health 111 and choose Option 2 . This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is free to call from a mobile (even when the caller has no credit left) or from a landline. The service will provide immediate support over the phone to help cope with how you are feeling, and if needed, a referral to mental health services will be arranged.

If you live in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) area, and are aged over 18, you can contact your GP surgery to make an appointment with a Psychological Health Practitioner (PHP) or a GP.  PHPs are NHS mental health practitioners that are available at most GP surgeries in ABUHB area. They provide a free service for people experiencing mild to moderate mental health problems. Appointments can be either face to face, or over the phone.

If you are under 18 or worried about someone aged under 18 and need advice/self-referral to local mental health and wellbeing services in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area, contact SPACE-Wellbeing.

Or alternatively contact another approved helpline. Some services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

If you are an unpaid carer for someone experiencing loneliness, visit our Unpaid Carers page for more information and advice.

 

Last updated: 30.04.2024
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Self-help resources to help you overcome loneliness

18 resources including: Samaritans ‘e’, Caerphilly Community Connectors add all the connector/coordinator roles, GAVO, Cwtsh Caerphilly guide, Connect Torfaen, Ffrind I Mi Volunteer Befriending Scheme, Combatting Loneliness – Digital Communities Wales, Get help with loneliness – NHS.

All resources can be viewed here: Mental Wellbeing Resources | Melo Self-help Resources and Support

Type Title Related to… Provider
Reading Reading

Finding Your Way – A guide for anyone who is struggling to cope | Samaritans

Loneliness, Low Mood, Money, Self-Harm, Suicide mind
Websites Websites

Ffrind i Mi Volunteer Befriending Service

Loneliness mind
Websites Websites

Services and organisations for adults – Dewis Cymru

Loneliness, Men's Mental Health, Mental Wellbeing, Money mind
Websites Websites

Connect Torfaen – Community platform to meet friends and make connections

Five Ways to Wellbeing, Loneliness, Mental Wellbeing mind
Websites Websites

Cwtsh Caerphilly – Weekly guides of what’s going on in Caerphilly

Five Ways to Wellbeing, Loneliness, Mental Wellbeing mind
Websites Websites

Interactive online map to find local activities, organisations and groups | Your Newport

Mental Wellbeing mind
Showing 6 out of 20 results View all

Helplines providing information and advice if you are feeling lonely

See below for helplines relevant to feeling lonely. To see our full list of helplines, visit our helplines page.

CALL Mental Health Listening Line Logo

C.A.L.L. Mental Health Listening Line

Community Advice & Listening Line

Provides a confidential mental health listening and emotional support line which is open 24/7. CALL can also signpost to support in local communities and a range of online information.

Visit the CALL website ➝
The Silver Line Logo

The Silver Line

Sometimes you just need to hear a voice at the end of the phone. The Silver Line is a free, confidential helpline for older people.

Visit The Silver Line website ➝

Shout

Text Shout to 85258 – Shout is the UK’s first 24/7 text servicefree on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere.

It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.

Shout is powered by a team of volunteers, who are at the heart of the service. We take people from crisis to calm every single day.

Visit the Shout website ➝
Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

Psychological Health Practitioners (PHP)

If you feel you need ongoing support to improve your mental health, then you may need professional support from the NHS. This is a free service and you will be able to access this help from within your GP surgery. Ask if there is a Psychological Health Practitioner based in your surgery. If not, then your GP can provide support.

Find out more ➝
NHS 111 Wales Logo

Mental Health 111 (Option 2)

If you or someone you know requires immediate medical attention, or in immediate danger, then dial 999 or go to A&E.

If you or someone you know needs urgent mental health care, but it is not life threatening, call NHS 111 and select Option 2.
Mental Health 111 (Option 2) is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is free to calls from a mobile (even when the caller has no credit left) or from a landline.

When you call, a Mental Health & Wellbeing Practitioner will talk through how you are feeling. They can provide brief interventions over the phone to help you cope with how you are feeling. They can also arrange referrals to mental health services, if needed.

Find out more ➝
Age Cymru Logo

Age Cymru

Age Cymru Advice is committed to being the foremost information and advice service on matters affecting older people in Wales. We provide confidential, impartial and expert information and advice to older people, their families, friends, carers and professionals.  Available Monday – Friday, 9am-4pm.

Visit Age Cymru website to learn more ➝
Versus Arthritis Logo

Versus Arthritis – Wales

Cymru Versus Arthritis provides support and services for people with arthritis in Wales to help them live well with their condition. We offer a wide range of activities across Wales, including peer support for adults, young people and families, information sharing and social activities.

Available Mon-Fri 9am-6pm (closed from 12pm the last Friday of every month)

Visit Versus Arthritis website for more information ➝
Re-engage Logo

Re-engage

Everyone should have the chance to make new friends.

Re-engage run free social activity groups and one-to-one activities for over 75’s, that will help you reduce loneliness and expand your social circle in a friendly, safe environment.  They also offer free call companions for those who would benefit from a regular chat over the phone with a friendly volunteer. 

Visit Re-engage website to learn more ➝
British Red Cross Logo

British Red Cross

We provide a listening ear, information and guidance, on where to find the help you need in times of crisis.  We also help people find out what support services we provide and how to access them.  Available to anyone in the UK including non-UK citizens like refugees and asylum seekers.

Support can be provided in more than 200 languages.

Available Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 10am-5pm, Wed 10am-8pm

Visit the British Red Cross website ➝
Age Connects Wales logo

Age Connects Wales

Age Connects Wales is a national charity made up of six local, independent Age Connects organisations with over 40 years’ experience. We provide support in 11 of the 22 local authority areas in Wales, with each organisation providing our core services. Core services include Information, Advice and Welfare Benefits, Befriending, Independent Advocacy and Activities Programme.

Visit Age Connects Wales website ➝
Childline Logo

Childline – for children and young people under 19

Childline is here to help anyone under 19 in the UK with any issue they’re going through. You can talk about anything. Whether it’s something big or small, our trained counsellors are here to support you.

Get help and advice about a wide range of issues, call us, talk to a counsellor online, send Childline an email or post on the message boards.

Call on 0800 1111 – the number will not show up on your phone bill. Support can be accessed online here by making an account.

Support available 24/7. BSL available Mon-Fri 8am-8pm and Sat 8am-1pm. Welsh speaker available on request, appointment will be scheduled.

Visit the Childline website ➝
Showing 11 results
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