Fianna Fáil Seanad spokesperson on Health and Mental Health Senator Keith Swanick is calling on the government to support the aims of the Loneliness Taskforce. The report will be debated in the Seanad on Wednesday 13th February.

Senator Swanick said “Last June, Sean Moynihan of ALONE and I launched a report, A Connected Island; An Ireland Free From Loneliness, published by the Loneliness Taskforce. The aim of the report was to examine the detrimental effects of loneliness in our society and how we could fix this.

“The Taskforce gave five recommendations which the Seanad will debate tomorrow. It is vitally important this conversation takes place on a national level.

“The motion I have tabled calls for the Minister for Health to listen to the five recommendations from the Loneliness Taskforce which is urging €3 million to be dedicated towards a public campaign, funding initiatives, research to combat loneliness and to see a government Minister allocated specific responsibility for loneliness.

“Other recommendations include the creation of a public campaign which would encourage those feeling lonely to seek support from a GP, raise awareness of the negative health implications of loneliness, and prompt citizens to engage with those most vulnerable to loneliness and funding streams for dedicated research in this area.

“The government cannot ignore the loneliness epidemic in society, the findings from the report, and the actions that need to be taken following our debate this week,” concluded Senator Swanick.