It’s time to talk openly about loneliness and disability and the impact it has on an individual’s emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing.
In the last 20 months our charity, Enhance The UK has seen a significant spike in the volume of emails we receive from disabled people about how lonely and cut off from society they feel. Concerned by this worrying trend we knew it was time for action and our loneliness campaign aims to share insight, information, and potential solutions for disabled people who feel isolated and alone.
Survey and Statistics
We invited disabled people living in the UK to complete a survey asking about their personal experience of loneliness. The results highlighted that of those surveyed
- 47% said they felt lonely frequently and 12% stated they always experienced loneliness
- 20% had spoken with their GP, caregiver or therapist in relation to the impact loneliness was having on their wellbeing, with 48% turning to friends and family for support.
- 9.7% feel they had no-one to help and 41% replied ‘Maybe’ when asked if they had a support network to turn to
- 38% believe that disabled people are the group that loneliness impacts the most, followed by 32% thinking it was the over 50’s demographic most likely to feel lonely.
When asked what could be done to help disabled people feel less alone the results showed that:
- 45% believed that the need for personal contact, a hug or intimacy would be hugely beneficial
- 38% recommended 1 to 1 time with a friend
- 6% opted for attending organised group events with comments being the importance of a connection to the disabled community playing a positive role in feeling less isolated.
Our campaign aims to:
- Highlight what the different types of loneliness are
- Dispel myths about whom loneliness affects
- Have open and frank conversations about how loneliness can affect disabled people
- Offer valuable insight and potential solutions to help individuals feel more connected and less alone
- Signpost people to organisations who can help
Valuable Insight and Information
Over the coming weeks we’ll be sharing information to help disabled people (and their family and carers) find potential solutions to loneliness. Our team members, who all have a disability themselves, have researched and created the following insights:
- Top Tips – what you can do to feel less isolated and more connected
- Personal Stories – what it’s like to date when you have a carer
- Where to find support – we’ll be signposting you to specialist organisations
- Loneliness and Paranoia – A guest post by Charlotte Faragher
- Undressing Disability Podcast – Kelly Gordon and Jennie Williams discuss loneliness and dating
- A resource about how to spot loneliness and tips for helping
Follow the Campaign
Follow our campaign by searching the hashtag #DisabilityAndLoneliness and join the conversation by connecting with us on Twitter @ETUKUndressing and on Instagram @UndressingDisability