This week marks the nationwide launch of Loneliness Harms Health.  You may have read about our work targeting health and wellbeing boards (new forums making strategic decisions about health and care services) in Cornwall and Essex: now it’s your turn.

Our vision is for all health and wellbeing boards across England will recognise the negative health implications of loneliness and isolation in older age; to take responsibility for measuring it in their area and to develop a strategy to reduce it. But to achieve this, we need all our supporters to get involved.

So, Loneliness Harms Health is all about encouraging people in their own communities to take up the mantle of ensuring that decision makers act on loneliness. We’ve created a range of resources to enable you do this, which can be found on our new webpage:

Here you will find an action packed full of useful hints, tips and templates to help you raise awareness about the health implications of loneliness in older age and demand that they are taken into account by those with the power to do something about it. You will also see an interactive map where you can describe any action, and inspire others to get involved.

There are a few easy first steps you can take:

  • Send a letter to your local newspaper, to make sure as many people hear about Loneliness Harms Health and think about contacting their Health and Wellbeing Board. For the next week you can send a template letter through this online system, but in November you may want to take a look at this advice.
  • A second simple step is to find out who sits on your health and wellbeing board, so you know exactly who to send this letter to…
  • Finally, read our action pack for campaigners and think about what else you, or some local groups in your area, could do to make sure tackling loneliness is a priority for your council and local NHS

If you do any of these things, or indeed anything that will bring loneliness to the attention of decision makers, please make sure you share it on the map. We will also be posting case studies of successful campaigns on this blog, so make sure you keep checking back for frequent updates on Loneliness Harms Health.