LISTEN: Eloise Vajk explains what loneliness means for people and what can be done to look after people experiencing it
The Perth and Kinross Council has put together a list of organisations to support people experiencing difficulties with their mental health.
The pandemic has forced a lot of feelings upon people in Highland Perthshire, some including loneliness and isolation, and this list is designed to help connect people to the support they need.
Eloise Vajk, policy and planning assistant for Perth and Kinross, said: “Your feelings of loneliness are personal, so everyone’s experience is going to be different.
“But I think there’s also this sort of unconscious perception that loneliness is being alone, but it’s not always the same thing.
“You can be alone and have relatively little contact with other people and live happily or you could have lots of social contact being in a relationship, or even as part of a family, and still feel lonely.
“What it really comes down to is if you don’t feel understood or cared for by the people around you, it’s really this feeling that you get when our need for rewarding and meaningful social contact isn’t really being met.”
She highlights that people it’s understandable why people to be feeling this way, even if it’s a new experience for people who’ve lived very sociable lives in Highland Perthshire’s tight-knit communities.
And there are ways for people to make small and simple changes which can make big differences on their mood.
Eloise Vajk added: “I think I would just like to encourage people to reach out when they’re feeling that way. Being able to share your feelings with others, that’s really going to help with any feelings loneliness that you’ve been having.”
The key resources that Eloise Vajk pointed to is the Mental Health Directory available from the council, phone lines such as Breathing Space and the Samaritans and the NHS Tayside Community Listening Service.
The comprehensive list available from PKC can be found on: http://www.pkc.gov.uk/media/22524/Mental-Health-Directory-of-Services/pdf/Mental_Health_Directory_of_Services_2017
More information on Breathing Space can be found on: https://breathingspace.scot/
To get in touch with the Samaritans, phone: 116 123
More information about the NHS Community Listening Service can be found on: https://www.nhstayside.scot.nhs.uk/GoingToHospital/PROD_296597/index.htm