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  • Northside East

€3m for Loneliness Taskforce welcomed

Saturday, 18th May, 2019 1:00pm
€3m for Loneliness Taskforce welcomed

Sean Moynihan (left), chief executive of ALONE and Dr Keith Swanick, Spokesperson on Health and Mental Health in the Seanad, at the recent launch of the ‘Connected Ireland Report’ by the Loneliness Taskforce at the Royal College of Surgeons last year. FILE PHOTO: ARTHUR CARRON

€3m for Loneliness Taskforce welcomed

Sean Moynihan (left), chief executive of ALONE and Dr Keith Swanick, Spokesperson on Health and Mental Health in the Seanad, at the recent launch of the ‘Connected Ireland Report’ by the Loneliness Taskforce at the Royal College of Surgeons last year. FILE PHOTO: ARTHUR CARRON

A CHARITY that supports older people to age at home has welcomed the Government’s announcement of a €3 million fund, separate to the mental fund, which will be used to combat loneliness across Ireland. 

ALONE said the move is welcome recognition from this Government of the seriousness of loneliness as a health issue and highlights the willingness to tackle it.

ALONE chief executive Seán Moynihan collaborated with Senator Keith Swanick to form the Loneliness Taskforce, an initiative to coordinate a response to loneliness and social isolation in Ireland. 

The taskforce endeavours to increase awareness about the issue and to achieve the implementation of a set of recommendations set out for Government, State agencies and all policymakers. 

Mr Moynihan said the funding is a significant achievement for the Loneliness Taskforce and the ongoing work across Ireland to highlight the loneliness epidemic, affecting people of all age groups.  “ALONE is proud to have worked on this for more than a year with Senator Swanick and the other members of the taskforce,” said Mr Moynihan.

“Our work has highlighted just how important this is to people across Ireland and we welcome the Government’s response.

“Loneliness can seriously impact your physical and mental health, and evidence has shown that older people experiencing high levels of loneliness are almost twice as likely to die within six years compared to those who are not lonely. 

“It is vital to support grassroots community organisations which have emerged because they have witnessed, first-hand, the need to combat loneliness, and to ensure supports are community-led. Mr Moynihan said many organisations are already working on this.

“We must make sure these receive adequate support,” he added.  

The €3 million funding announced will go a long way to ensure that this happens.”

• For those who have concerns about their own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community, ALONE can be contacted on 01-6791032 or visit www.alone.ie

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