Feeling lonely

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Most people feel lonely sometimes, for many different reasons. If loneliness is affecting your life, there are things you can try that may help.

Support is also available if you're finding it hard to cope with stress, anxiety or depression.

If you're not sure how you feel, try our mood self-assessment.

Coronavirus advice

Get advice about coronavirus and looking after your mental wellbeing:

Do

  • try talking about your feelings to a friend, family member, health professional or counsellor. You could also contact Samaritans, call: 116 123 or email: jo@samaritans.org if you need someone to talk to

  • consider joining a group or class that focuses on something you enjoy; you could ask to go along and just watch first if you're feeling nervous

  • consider visiting places where you can just be around other people – for example, a park, the cinema or a cafe

  • consider peer support, where people use their experiences to help each other. Find out more about peer support on the Mind website

  • try the 6 ways to feel happier, which are simple lifestyle changes to help you feel more in control and able to cope

  • find out how to raise your self-esteem

  • listen to free mental wellbeing audio guides

Don't

  • do not try to do everything at once; set small targets that you can easily achieve

  • do not focus on the things you cannot change – focus your time and energy into helping yourself feel better

  • try not to compare yourself to others. On social media you usually only see things people want to share

  • try not to tell yourself that you're alone – many people feel lonely at some point in their life and support is available

  • try not to use alcohol, cigarettes, gambling or drugs to relieve loneliness; these can all contribute to poor mental health

Further information and support

The mental health charity Mind offers more information on:

Referring yourself for therapy

If you need more support, you can get free psychological therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) on the NHS.

You can refer yourself directly to a psychological therapies service without a referral from a GP.

Find a psychological therapies service in your area

See a GP if:

  • you're struggling to cope with stress, anxiety or a low mood
  • you've had a low mood for more than 2 weeks
  • things you're trying yourself are not helping
  • you would prefer to get a referral from a GP

Call 111 or ask for an urgent GP appointment if:

  • you need help urgently, but it's not an emergency

111 can tell you the right place to get help if you need to see someone. Go to 111.nhs.uk or call: 111

Call 999 or go to A&E now if:

  • you or someone you know needs immediate help
  • you have seriously harmed yourself – for example, by taking a drug overdose

A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a medical emergency.

Find your nearest A&E

Loneliness has many different causes and it can affect people of all ages.

It's often linked with things that could prevent you spending time with other people, such as:

However, you do not have to be on your own all the time to feel lonely. Many people feel lonely in a relationship or while spending time with friends or family.

Other significant life events such as buying a house, having a baby or planning a wedding could also lead to feelings of loneliness.

You might find it hard to explain to people why you feel this way, but talking to someone could help you find a solution.

Find out more about the 5 steps to mental wellbeing.

Loneliness can affect people at any age, but older people are especially vulnerable to social isolation.

Find out more about:

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School Health Service

Speak to the team for more information.

Need help now?
Text your school nurse on
07507 332473.

School Health virtual drop-in sessions

Tuesday and Thursday
10am to 3pm and 6 to 9pm

Need to speak to someone now? Text us on 07507 332473 for a chat.

Need an appointment? Visit our Attend Anywhere waiting room.

A virtual drop-in for young people aged 12-19 (secondary school or college age).

The virtual drop-in can help if you are worried or concerned about a health issue and need advice. This could be about healthy eating, sexual health, relationships, smoking, exams, drugs and alcohol, emotional health and wellbeing, body image, family issues, bullying or something else.

The drop-in is private and confidential.

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