‘Young or old, loneliness doesn’t discriminate … it is something many of us could easily help with.” The murdered MP Jo Cox was convinced that more could be done to address growing levels of social isolation in the UK and, in December, a commission set up in her name published a report urging goverments to get involved.
The Scottish Government has now taken up that challenge, publishing a consultation document asking, “what needs to change?”
It might be easy to sneer at politicians, like Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman, talking about trying to increase “kindness” in Scotland.
But our aging population and the rise of the internet have created powerful societal forces that can leave some people lost on the sidelines.
Governments, local and national, cannot make you befriend a neighbour – and neither would anyone want to force that to happen – but they can provide considerable organising power.
And they are also the source of funding for sports clubs, libraries and other community facilities that can help to reduce loneliness.
The SNP is asking the right questions. So make your voice heard.
READ MORE: Loneliness can be bad for your health