Concern for Britons feeling trapped and lonely during lockdown (Libby Brookes, The Guardian, 19 April)
Loneliness NZ is intent on conquering loneliness in New Zealand. We are at the forefront of efforts to prevent Kiwis becoming lonely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the Government social distancing and lockdown restrictions, we all do expect New Zealanders to experience some loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, we all benefit by keeping our experience of loneliness, and that of others, to a minimum.
Our self-help resources support and expand on the Government campaigns and tools, with a focus specifically on preventing loneliness, or preventing the experience of more loneliness for those already lonely.
Additionally we mentor registered individuals who experience prolonged loneliness via video calls.
Let us introduce our self-help resources, and what they are about.
We have developed a suite of resources to help prevent loneliness of yourself and others during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Understanding each other better for bubble-life in COVID-19 isolation aims to help people in their bubbles or living alone to thrive harmoniously. It examines our positive influence on others, how we replenish our energy, discussing each others’ needs and wants, and balancing our optimism and pessimism for wellbeing.
Making indoor routines work for everyone during COVID-19 bubble life provides practical advice on how to create balanced indoor routines during lockdown. These routines incorporate familiarity, thoughtfulness, flexibility, mindfulness, and creativity.
Connected and still feeling lonely explains that there are many reasons why being connected may not in itself be enough to prevent loneliness. If you need further help, consider using a Loneliness NZ mentor to guide you in what steps you can take to help yourself become less lonely.
To help you further understand loneliness and how to prevent it in a COVID-19 world, we have curated and categorized a selection of national and international media articles related to COVID-19 and loneliness.
£5 million Loneliness Covid-19 Grant Fund (UK Government, 13 May)
How virtual mentoring is closing the loneliness gap during COVID-19 (Tanya Tarr, Forbes, 12 May)
How our leaders can minimise the negative effects of loneliness after COVID-19 (Holly Walker, The Spinoff, 1 May)
We need to flatten the “other” coronavirus curve, our looming mental health crisis (Stephen Corbone and Antony Jorm, The Conversation, 30 April)
Can social prescribing support the COVID-19 pandemic? (Stephanie Tierney, Kamal R. Mahtani, Amadea Turk, Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, 25 March)
The COVID health and wellbeing survey (Weekly survey, Ministry of Health)
30 Mar – 5 Apr
In general, would you say your health right now is … lonely/isolated
30 Mar – 5 Apr: Over the past seven days, how often have you felt lonely or isolated?
All of the time
Most of the time
Some of the time
A little of the time
None of the time
Lack of social connection with elderly a big issue for Kiwis (Interview with Emanuel Kalafatelis of Research New Zealand, RNZ, 26 April)
The survey found that:
Coronavirus: Elderly handling the loneliness of lockdown better than their grandkids – survey (Dan Satherley and Perry Wilton, Newshub, 20 April)
A price of lockdown: 215,000 New Zealanders want help to cope (Grant McInman and Graeme Colman, Horizon Research, 19 April)
Excerpt from survey results:
Amid COVID-19, millennials are (still) the loneliest generation (Jamie Ballard, YouGov, 2 May)
47% of Americans say they feel more lonely than usual during COVID-19 according to a ValuePenguin.com survey (P&T Community, PRNewswire, 29 April)
Quarter of UK adults say lockdown has made them ‘feel lonely’: Young people aged 18 to 24 found to be the most affected (Sarah Young, Independent, 22 April)
Excerpt: “…with the most affected group found to be young people aged 18 to 24 – 44 per cent of which admitted to experiencing loneliness. The next most affected group were adults aged 25 to 34, with 35 per cent saying they had felt lonely as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic…”
COVID-19 lockdown measures leading to increased loneliness and depression in Ireland (Harry Brent, The Irish Post, 16 April)
More than half of Canadians feel lonely, isolated during coronavirus pandemic: Ipsos poll (Meghan Collie, Global News Ipsos, 10 April)
Survey results: Understanding people’s concerns about the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic (Collated by Katherine Cowan, on behalf of MQ: Transforming Mental Health and the Academy of Medical Sciences, April)
Doug Wilson: how older people are feeling about the pandemic (Interview with Doug Wilson, RNZ, 23 May)
COVID-19 is making America’s loneliness epidemic even worse (Jamie Ducharme, TIME, 8 May)
Coronavirus: Calls to Lifeline surge 25% during COVID-19 lockdown (Denise Piper, Stuff, 5 May)
This pandemic is lonely, but don’t call loneliness an ‘epidemic’ (Matt Simon, interview with Fay Bound Alberti, Wired, 8 May)
Why COVID-19 loneliness can be especially hard on teens (Geoff McMaster, Medical Xpress, 4 May)
Loneliness is a modern invention. Understanding that history can help us get through this pandemic (Fay Bound Alberti, TIME, 29 April)
Combating loneliness in the age of COVID-19 on ‘Next question’ (Radio interview with Dr Vivek Murthy, former Surgeon General of the United States, iHeart radio, 21 April)
Overwhelming, lonely, stressful – life in a COVID-19 unit in Geneva (Katherine Zimmerman, Medecins Sans Frontieres, 27 April)
Through glass or from a distance, Orlando Health chaplains comfort COVID-19 patients | Commentary (David Whitley, Orlando Sentinel, 24 April)
Existential suffering and loneliness with COVID-19 (John Y. Rhee, Medpage Today, 30 March)
Can stress, loneliness, and sleep deprivation make you more prone to COVID-19? (Alex Orlando, Discover magazine, 31 March)
Loneliness and stress may put you at greater risk for COVID-19 (Marla Milling, Forbes, 20 March)
For a more detailed study of the connection between COVID-19 and loneliness, we have curated and categorized a selection of national and international academic articles related to COVID-19 and loneliness.
Investigating the short-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdown on institutional trust, attitudes to government, health and wellbeing (Sibley et al., PsyArXiv preprints, 22 April)
Excerpt: “In sum, the general picture for health and wellbeing was one of resilience. The findings indicate that the initial stages of the pandemic and lockdown had minimal short-term detrimental effects on physical health and subjective well-being, perhaps in part because of increases in community connectedness.”
Social isolation in COVID-19: The impact of loneliness (Debanjan Banerjee and Mayank Rai, International Journal of Social Psychiatry (editorial), 29 April)
COVID-19, social isolation and loneliness (Robert Sanders, literature review, Iriss, 22 April)
Lockdowns, loneliness and life satisfaction (Daniel Hamermesh, IZA Institute of Labor Economics, Germany, April)
Multidisciplinary research priorities for the COVID-19 pandemic: a call for action for mental health science (Emily Holmes et al., The Lancet Psychiatry, 15 April)
Excerpt: “A major adverse consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to be increased social isolation and loneliness (as reflected in our surveys), which are strongly associated with anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicide attempts across the lifespan. Tracking loneliness and intervening early are important priorities. Crucially, reducing sustained feelings of loneliness and promoting belongingness are candidate mechanisms to protect against suicide, self-harm, and emotional problems.”
Loneliness, social connection and COVID-19 (Jane Farmer et al., Centre for Social Impact, Australia, April)
Safe but lonely? Loneliness, mental health symptoms and COVID-19 (Lukasz Okruszek et al., PsyArXiv Preprint, 10 April)
We include several sites that will be helpful to your mental wellbeing, even though many of these sites do not talk specifically about loneliness.
The New Zealand Government advisory website Covid19.govt.nz has pages on mental wellbeing that you may find interesting.
COVID-19: Wellbeing at alert level 4 provides some tips on how to get through alert level 4 lockdown.
Looking after your mental wellbeing provides ways to look after your mental health, and contacts if your are not coping with grief, anxiety, stress, or mental wellbeing.
Looking after others encourages you to be kind by checking in on vulnerable people and older relatives; calling family, friends, and neighbours; and dropping off essential supplies.
Getting through together and Sparklers at home
Mental wellbeing apps and on-line courses
World Health Organisation
On 18 March, the World Health Organisation released Mental health and psychosocial considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak.