UK appoints Minister for Loneliness
British Prime Minister Theresa May has appointed the first Minister for Loneliness in the United Kingdom, to help subdue the dark cloud of misery enveloping an estimated 9 million Britons.
Tracey Crouch MP has been appointed to implement a project initiated by the late MP Jo Cox, who was killed before the European Union referendum by a man who shouted “Britain first” during the attack.
In her speech, Crouch said that there is a difference between isolation and pure loneliness.
“I can describe it (loneliness) like a cancer, it seems to eat you away, nobody knows what goes on behind the scenes of closed doors when you don’t have the will to get dressed or go on,” she said.
In a statement reported by the BBC, May said: “Jo Cox recognised the scale of loneliness across the country and dedicated herself to doing all she could to help those affected.”
According to Redcross Community Connector, Sungeeta Gupta, loneliness can cause people to have big breakdowns, saying it is just as bad as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
Crouch has promised to work across political parties and with communities adding that a multi-million pound fund would help her pull together existing work being carried out on loneliness to create a framework for the future.
The Minister for Loneliness plans to use “simple acts of companionship” to help avert loneliness that is gravely affecting an estimated half of people aged over 75 live alone – about two million people across England – with many saying they can go days, even weeks, with no social interaction at all.
Seems loneliness is increasingly becoming an issue of concern across the globe. Late last year Nigeria appointed a commissioner for happiness to help cheer up sad people in the state.
This was after Governor Rochas Okorocha appointed his sister as the Happiness Commissioner for Imo State, however Nigerians, unlike Britons were not for the idea.
In her maiden speech she said “Happiness can mean anything to anybody, for some people happiness means having food on their table, some it’s about schools, some it’s about the roads for some it’s about security,” the commissioner of happiness said. “My role is to create positive attitudes for our Imo people.”
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