Why tackle social isolation and loneliness?

Evidence shows that loneliness has a negative impact on both physical and mental health and increases the risk of early mortality.

There is strong evidence that the influence of social relationships has a similar effect to many other public health issues, for example:

  • Suffering from loneliness can be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes per day, worse that being physically inactive or obese
  • People who are lonely and socially isolated have poorer health behaviours e.g. smoking, physical inactivity, less fruit and vegetable intake, and poorer sleep

Benefits to individuals

  • Positive impact on physical and mental health
  • People living longer in good health
  • Healthier and happier East Ayrshire

Benefits for health and social care services

  • Reduced health and social care costs
  • Fewer GP visits
  • Lower use of medication
  • Fewer days in hospital

Benefits for communities

  • Increased productivity (for employers)
  • Improved independence
  • Kind, connected communities
  • Increased contribution to society
  • More inclusive society