Loneliness

NHS

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

Things you can try to help with loneliness

Do

  • try talking about your feelings to a friend, family member, health professional or counsellor. You could also contact Samaritans, call: 116 123.
  • 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.
  • 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

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

Causes of loneliness

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:

  • living or working alone
  • retirement
  • illness or disability
  • bereavement (losing someone or something)
  • moving to a new area, job, school or university
  • social anxiety (social phobia)

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.

Useful resources

The EA currently have 162 staff on our Mental Health First Aider network. The Mental...
Inspire Workplaces (one of the new names for Carecall and EAP Consultants), is a leading...
Bloom is a UK-wide programme which supports young people’s mental health resilience,...
Libraries NI can provide a free Homecall service to your home if you have significant...
Link & Learns are bite size, topical learning sessions for your employees, delivered...
Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), developed by Professor Paul Gilbert OBE, is a...
Sourcing and supporting employment opportunities, training and/or voluntary placements...
The OUR Generation project is a Peace IV funded project that provides a unique...
There are a number of health campaigns throughout the year to raise awareness of...
This is delivered to the general adult population, including those affected by depression...
Mindfulness is a form of meditation with its roots in Buddhism. It helps you develop...
Everyone’s mental health and emotional well-being is important and many different issues...
Our support groups offer a safe space for people aged 18+ to share experiences of anxiety...
AMH New Life Counselling provides high quality counselling services and is part of Action...
AMH Works provide specialised mental wellbeing training and consultancy to tackle...
Mood Matters Young People programme is aimed at 14-18 year olds and gives them knowledge...
This includes: Raising awareness of depression and Aware NI services at a wide range of...
AMH EveryBODY aims to promote greater understanding and awareness of eating disorders. We...
Positive Minds for Premature Parents supports families of premature babies to develop and...
This supportive behaviour change programme motivates individuals who are ready to make...
Tailored activities to support positive mental health and emotional wellbeing. MensSana,...
The British Red Cross is helping people connect with their local communities, meet new...
MindWise are proud to be the only membership-led mental health organisation in Northern...
It is estimated that the overall prevalence of mental health conditions in Northern...
Free access to eBooks, audiobooks and eMagazines - available to download on your device...
We have a wealth of experience in delivering training and consultancy services to a wide...
WiseTalking is a pilot Talking Therapies service for children and young people who are...
Since 2010 Action Mental Health has been successfully delivering Chronic Pain/Conditions...
Our Talking Therapies Practice offers individuals a range of psychological interventions...
Helping employees become more resilient, by giving them the skills to reframe negative...
CBT involves examining your thoughts, feelings and behaviour patterns, and working out...
Destination:https://www.bemindfulonline.com/|_|eventCategory|-|Internal links clicks|_|...
A partnership, led by AMH, who worked with 8 leading charities to improve mental health...
Our team of facilitators have extensive knowledge and experience in the field of Mental...
Advanced Diploma in Mental Health and Wellbeing Coaching This virtual training programme...
You must download the Libby app to continue to access the eMagazine and eNewspaper...
Stress doesn’t just make you feel bad – it can also be bad for your health. The good news...
Clinical hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis for the treatment and alleviation of a...
We’ve gathered useful advice, information and help for young people aged 8-25 and those...
Action Mental Health is one of the ChatPal Project Team Members working to develop and...
This is aimed at the over 55’s and is delivered to groups in community settings. The...
This programme is a six week training programme for groups of adults and focuses on...
This idea is a walk in the park. It really is that simple, post a news item to see how...
First aid as we know it is the help given to an injured person before medical treatment...
Well mind is a workshop which focuses on recognising the triggers of stress and the...
AWARE also offers an online support group service. The groups provide an opportunity to...
AMH Promote provides opportunities for adults with a learning disability to be socially...
This is delivered to expectant mothers & parents of babies under 3 years of age. It...
This is a six-session programme using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) concepts – the...
AMH New Horizons provides a comprehensive programme of specialist training in: Personal...
Back to Life, Back to Normality is a free 12-week mental health programme delivered by...
Beyond Bricks is Lego® Based Play that uses a 'recovery to discovery' approach to enhance...
A project for men aged 50+ to share skills, socialise and connect with their wider...
The Community Care and Support Service is open to individuals over the age of 18 years...
Belfast Resource Centre offers many opportunities including social and leisure activities...
Anxiety can affect anyone at any time, however, students often experience additional...
Counselling is a form of talking therapy that allows you to speak openly about your...
From books and magazines to local history resources, Libraries NI has a host of fabulous...
Supporting veterans at risk of suicide across Northern Ireland. Exposure to line of duty...
MindWise is delighted to offer employers an opportunity to train their staff as Mental...
Self-Help for Anxiety Management (SAM) offers a range of self-help methods to help you...
It’s an easy to follow programme known the world over, and perfect for those new to...
Here2Help has been developed by a local initiative from people who want to make the range...
Learn to manage negative thoughts and look at problems differently
Moodpath: Depression and Anxiety is a written mood journal that uses progress reports and...
Personalised Exercise Plans
MoodMission helps you learn new and better ways of coping with low moods and anxiety...
Handle stress and anxiety on the go
MindShift CBT is a free self-help anxiety relief app, that helps you reduce worry, stress...
Guided meditations
Boost your happiness and create a kinder world while doing it with the Action for...
Active 10 is a free and easy to use walking app that tracks your walking and shows you...
SuperBetter is a tool created by game designers to help you build resilience and get...
Fabulous! Is a motivational app that uses challenges to help build physically and...
What's Up? can help you cope with anxiety, stress and feelings of depression. It has...
Guided meditations
Clear Fear is an app developed for teenage mental health charity Stem4 which uses the...
Support to resist self-harm
Your Mind Plan offers practical ideas and advice to help you boost and maintain your mental wellbeing. Answer the quick 5-question quiz and the Every Mind Matters widget will give you 5 tailored actions to help you feel more in control, improve your sleep, deal with stress and anxiety, and boost your mood – as well as the option to easily swap any actions and to save the whole plan via email.

Helplines & Web Chats

Samaritans
Action Mental Health
Association for Post-Natal Illness Helpline
Aware NI - Support Groups
Aware NI - Online Support Groups
Mind - Side by Side Online Community