Tēna koutou katoa, Talofa lava and warm Pacific greetings.
Welcome to another newsletter… arriving in this very unusual world! Life before the COVID-19 virus affected our planet seems an enormously long time ago! We really are in unprecedented times, with such wide-scale lockdown!
From our little bubbles we are experiencing some people interacting better (great news!), and others experiencing loneliness for the first time (of concern, especially if this increases through the lockdown, and thereafter).
A reminder that prolonged loneliness can be harmful to your physical and mental wellbeing, particularly for anyone vulnerable, experiencing hardship or under strain.
And enjoy meaningful connections in our relationships whenever we can.
We are truly grateful that Professor Vanessa Burholt has recently joined our group of advisers.
Vanessa is a leading scientist assessing the impact of the physical external environment and culture on loneliness. Vanessa recently has come to New Zealand from Wales where she held roles related to Social Policy Research and Development.
She has taken up the role of Professor in Gerontology in the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, with the University of Auckland. Vanessa has wide-ranging interests such as loneliness, support networks, intergenerational relationships, social exclusion, rurality, migration of older people and attachment to place.
Loneliness NZ is intent on conquering loneliness in New Zealand. We provide resources for everyone, and support to lonely individuals via video calls. We are at the forefront of efforts to prevent Kiwis becoming lonely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To minimise the risk of being overwhelmed by lonely individuals, since the Government announcement of Alert level 4 lockdown, our priority has been the prevention of loneliness of New Zealanders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our first step has been the launch of self-help resources on our website to help prevent loneliness. These resources support and expand on Covid19.govt.nz and the getting through campaign, with a focus specifically on preventing loneliness, or preventing the experience of more loneliness for those already lonely.
The self-help resources launched to date are:
These self-help resources are supplemented by links to Covid19.govt.nz, the getting through together campaign, and World Health Organisation.
Google rates our tools highly, with us frequently coming out at the top of a search on “COVID-19” and “loneliness”.
This gives New Zealanders quick online access to our tools. As our website is world-leading on wide-ranging aspects of loneliness, our service is providing a global benefit.
Additionally, we are very busy with other initiatives under way.
New Zealanders experiencing prolonged loneliness are at risk of both physical and mental harm. While we provide an essential service to all New Zealand, the government does not fund us.
Join us to prevent loneliness of New Zealanders during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in the aftermath. Please make a donation on our GiveALittle page.
To everyone reading this… thank you for your interest in addressing the increasing loneliness being experienced in New Zealand.
We value your comments and general feedback. Please do connect with us through our website page under About Us – Contact Us.
We wish you very meaningful connections with others – your family, friends and whānau – right through the lockdown period, and as we come out to rebuild our lives.
We hope you will treasure the good that has come out of lockdown – like feeling a real sense of belonging as we have united to save lives, showing greater gratitude and connecting with friends and family, despite the physical distance.
CEO and Trustee of Loneliness NZ