This consultation closes at 10am on 20 July 2018
The Strategy framework
The Government’s Loneliness Strategy will be its first step in tackling the long-term challenge of loneliness. Loneliness is a complex issue that affects many different groups of people, and its evidence base is still developing.
Our approach is to focus the Strategy where we have the clearest opportunity for government action and further learning. Alongside this we will also be working with partners to explore how we can improve the evidence base, to inform future government policy.
The definition we are using and the focus of government work
Loneliness can be defined as a subjective, unwelcome feeling of lack or loss of companionship. It happens when we have a mismatch between the quantity and quality of social relationships that we have, and those that we want. (Perlman, D. and Peplau, 1981)
The current evidence base tends to measure loneliness in terms of frequency, and it shows that people who feel lonely most or all of the time are more likely to suffer ill health and to generate significant costs for society (for example, see Shankar et al, 2011; Valtorta et al, 2017; Steptoe et al, 2004; Hawkley and Cacioppo, 2009; Holt-Lunstad et al, 2015).