Navigating the Brutality of Loneliness: Discovering a Path Forward

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I welcome the recognition by the World Health Organization of the health threat of loneliness, linking its mortality effects to the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day (WHO declares loneliness a ‘global public health concern’, 16 November).

At Safe Families, we have worked with many individuals and families who experience the often brutal effects of loneliness, including those who have been widowed, single-parent families and those who may have relocated to another part of the country and have no support system.

It is the depth of knowledge through our work (partnering with 45 local authorities and more than 1,200 churches) and a desire to eradicate loneliness that has led us to develop the Belonging Course, six sessions that enable participants to be seen, heard and understood.

Churches all around the UK can benefit from delivering the Belonging Course. Building connections can help not just individuals, but also their neighbours and colleagues.

It is our hope that by bringing people together, this course will help individuals and communities to flourish, and reduce the social isolation that harms so many people in the UK. While loneliness impedes life, belonging supercharges it.
Kat Osborn
CEO, Safe Families

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