Theresa May appoints Minister of Loneliness to tackle social isolation
The UK prime minister recognised loneliness as a challenge of the modern society which needs to be confronted head on.
United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May appointed a Minister of Loneliness on Wednesday, in an attempt to tackle social isolation in Britain. Reports state that nearly 9 million people in the UK are afflicted with loneliness.
British Conservative politician, Tracey Crouch, will take on the role of the minister and will also lead a cross-party group. The group will reportedly honor the recommendations made in a report on MP Jo Cox's murder in 2016. The British Labour Party politician Helena Joanne Cox was murdered by a right-wing extremist in 2016.
The Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness was formulated in response to Cox's own experience of isolation, reports state.
"This is an issue that Jo cared passionately about and we will honor her memory by tackling it, helping the millions of people across the UK who suffer from loneliness," Crouch in a statement said, according to CNN.
The prime minister also paid tribute to Cox and her family on Wednesday by hosting a reception at Downing Street.
"Loneliness is the sad reality of modern life," PM May said. "I want to confront this challenge for our society and for all of us to take action to address the loneliness endured by the elderly, by carers, by those who have lost loved ones, people who have no one to talk to or share their thoughts and experiences with."
Studies have shown that the feeling of loneliness can not only affect a person's quality of life, it also raises the chance of the person's premature death, reports state.
A study conducted on the heart health of nearly 45,000 participants of age 45 and above found out that those people who suffered or were at risk of developing heart diseases had more chances of dying if they lived alone, in comparison to those who shared their house with other people.
Latest studies have also found out that loneliness also affects young people, particularly those who are heavy users of social media. Those people who used social media frequently had higher levels of perceived social isolation, according to a research.
Experts have also pointed out that loneliness can also affect a person's health in other ways. People who are isolated may exercise less, have a poor diet or may be reluctant to visit a doctor is suffering from ailments. These factors can lead to increased blood pressure, stress levels and inflammation, which in turn, can affect their heart health.
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