Taskforce on Loneliness ‘to make all-Ireland recommendations’

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Thursday, May 17th, 2018

SDLP MLA for Newry and Armagh Justin McNulty has said he expects a taskforce on Loneliness to make recommendations that will be implemented across the island of Ireland.

McNulty, a member of the Loneliness Taskforce, spoke after the meeting in Dublin recently.



He told Newry Times, “The Loneliness Taskforce was established by Senator Dr. Keith Swanick and Seán Moynihan of ALONE to coordinate a response to the epidemic of loneliness and social isolation across the island of Ireland.

“Through our work, the Loneliness Taskforce is seeking to increase awareness about the issue and to produce a set of recommendations for Government, state agencies and all policy makers on both sides of the border.

“The Taskforce has sparked a national conversation about loneliness and social isolation and we’ve just completed a consultation with representatives from a range of public bodies, third sector organisations and advocacy groups. The feedback received from more than 300 responses has been enlightening and informative,” he insisted.



“Our taskforce includes members from the education, sporting, nursing, psychology, business and academic sectors and we hope the campaign will help increase awareness about the issue and seek real and implementable solutions. Loneliness and social isolation are some of the greatest public health risks of today.

“While much of the research focuses on loneliness in the elderly, loneliness is now as prevalent in the young as it is in the elderly, it just manifests itself differently. Loneliness never discriminates between young and old, rich and poor or urban and rural and that is why more needs to be done to tackle the scourge of loneliness and social isolation.



The local MLA added, “At this stage we have made a range of draft recommendations and I look forward to the publication of our report and recommendations which will follow and I expect that to include a high profile awareness campaign.”



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