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Mental health and making friends

Making friendsFriendship is a very important part of life. Friends give us someone to laugh with when the going is good and someone to turn to in times of need. But maintaining friendships or meeting new people can be hard, and living with a mental health problem can make it seem even more difficult. That is one of the reasons loneliness and mental health often go hand in hand. Investing in friendships or building new ones is vital to good mental health. In this week’s blog, we will share some tips on making friends and meeting new people.

 

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Mental health and Loneliness

Mental healthThis month, the Spotlight on Loneliness campaign focuses on mental health. The relationship between this and loneliness is complicated. Having poor mental health can increase one’s chance of feeling lonely, and loneliness can be damaging to mental health. This month we will see both sides of the equation, and hear from some people working to help those affected.

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Carers, Dementia and Loneliness

Carers, Dementia, LonelinessMany of the carers we support look after partners or family members who have dementia. Dementia can be physically and mentally debilitating, and people with dementia may need help with basic everyday tasks. Two of the charities we work with to support dementia carers are Essex Dementia Care and Dementia Friendly Keighley. We spoke to some of the staff and volunteers there to find out more about caring.

 

 

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Look After Yourself To Look After Others

intres carers 3 7Every day around 6,000 people become carers and for many it’s a new experience. Many people may not even be aware the level of care and assistance they give to a family member or friend would class them as a full-time carer.

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How much time should children spend online?

children online, teenage girl looks at phoneWe have been hearing mixed messages this week about how much time children should spend online. First the Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield compared young people’s Internet usage to bingeing on junk food and encouraged parents to stop them overindulging during the summer holidays. In response, the former head of GCHQ Robert Hannigan said that parents should encourage children to spend more time online developing their digital skills.

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How Carers become Lonely

CarersThroughout August we will be shining the spotlight on loneliness among carers. Nearly 7 million adults in the UK look after a sick or disabled family member or friend who cannot care for themselves. Carers often have little time to themselves and can become lonely and socially isolated.

 

 

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Jamie’s story: Spotlight on Disability

BearWe all know that life can be lonely sometimes – even for people who are surrounded by friends and family. Loneliness doesn’t necessarily come from being alone: it is caused by a mismatch between the social interactions you want and the ones that you actually get. Technology can help very lonely people to feel less alone, or can be a tool to help lonely people engage more with those around them. In today’s blog, we hear the story of Jamie, a young man with severe learning disabilities whose life was changed by the great work of Solihull Life Opportunities and access to some WaveLength technology.

 

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Television, Loneliness and Disabilities

SOLO members with learning disabilities enjoy the Smart TVMany people believe that televisions isolate people, distracting them from spending time with friends or getting out into the “real” world. At WaveLength, we don’t agree with this. We see all the wonderful ways that televisions can bring people together, or bring the real world to those who can’t get on their own through illness or disabilities. This week’s blog is guest written by Solihull Living Opportunities, which provides care and activities to people with learning disabilities. Here SOLO tells us how they use their WaveLength Smart TV in their day centre Daylight.

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Spotlight on Disability – AAPNA

Spotlight on AAPNAOne of our partner organisations is AAPNA which offers home and respite services to disabled people in the BME community. We provided AAPNA with tablet computers which their clients use to Skype friends, download favourite music and take photographs to share with family members. We asked AAPNA to tell us a little about how loneliness affects their clients, and how their services help to alleviate this loneliness.

 

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Loneliness and Disability

SOLOThis month we are exploring issues of loneliness and disability as part of our Spotlight on Loneliness month. A survey conducted by Sense in 2015 found that one in four disabled people feel lonely on a typical day – for young disabled people aged 18-34 this rose to well over one in three. This month we will discover some of the reasons for this trend, and explore ways that the loneliness of disabled people can be alleviated.

 

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