June 24, 2020
Tackling loneliness part of COVID recovery
A new study on the impact of loneliness on the people and communities of Aotearoa has identified people with low incomes, the unemployed, Māori, young people, and single parents were more likely to feel profoundly lonely.
They were also worst affected by the way the Covid-19 outbreak exacerbated loneliness, not only during the enforced isolation but also as we transition out with different ways of relating to each other.
The Alone Together report was prepared by professional services firm WSP and The Helen Clark Foundation .
Author Holly Walker says studies have linked loneliness and a shorter life expectancy.
She says New Zealand should prioritise loneliness in social policy as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report recommends an effective guaranteed minimum income and more help for people to retrain and regain employment, greater efforts to close the digital divide, support for communities to do their magic, creating friendly streets and neighbourhoods, prioritising those already lonely, and investing in frontline mental health services.
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