Mental health has been amongst some of the most important recipients of lottery funding. In January, a new initiative with centres in Glasgow, North Wales, Northern Ireland and Cambs received a bumper lottery payout. People with mental illness often feel lonely. In turn, loneliness breeds anxiety and depression. It’s a vicious circle and one that Campaign to End Loneliness hopes to challenge. Their task is about to get a whole lot easier as they’ve received a large lottery payout to help in their cause: £2.7m. They will use the money for a scheme called Mobilise Kindness.
How Campaign to End Loneliness Will Mobilise Kindness
Research has shown that loneliness is mentally damaging. As we get older our circle of friends shrinks. However, age is not the only contributing factor to loneliness. Underlying mental illnesses such as depression combined with social anxiety means that maintaining a group of friends can be hard. The Campaign to End Loneliness won the BLF grant earlier this month. Over the next four years, they expect to expand programmes that encourage greater social interaction. Although some of this will focus on older people, they will not be their only focus. We all need social interaction to keep mentally well, however.
The Campaign to End Loneliness feels that the key to ending loneliness is encouraging social interaction in everyone. Feeling lonely is a normal human emotion; even those who have a large circle of friends can feel lonely when they have gone too long without human contact. It’s also common following bereavement and during a depression. People can literally feel lonely when in a crowd. This is what “Mobilise Kindness” is all about: human contact. It’s such a simple solution and in our fast-paced world of using the internet as our go-to form of entertainment, we are increasingly disconnected from those around us.