Social prescriptions are also being introduced in the UK as a way to save money for the NHS, as research shows that loneliness increases the strain on services; as the diagram below shows. Therefore, if social activities can have a positive impact on loneliness; it reduces the need for people to go to the NHS which frees up doctors, nurses and services for other patients in need.[/vc_column_text]
We’re also starting to realise how young people suffer from loneliness, as 86% of millennials reported feeling lonely and depressed in a 2011 study. Those aged between 18 and 25 are surprisingly FOUR times more likely to feel lonely all the time than those over 70. Young people are also those we most expect in our society to be out socialising, pointing towards a desire to interact with other people. Perhaps in the age of social media and high-pressure graduate jobs, young people have forgotten simpler activities – such as line dancing classes or painting lessons – that bring people together.
It appears that no matter who loneliness is affecting, social prescribing might be just what the doctor ordered.[/vc_column_text]