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Mental Health Awareness Week - Tackling loneliness

This week (9-15 May) is Mental Health Awareness Week and this year's theme is tackling loneliness.

Published 9 May 2022

Cllr Ian Blair pilling, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Libraries said; "We can all feel lonely at times, for lots of different reasons. Sometimes, we can be surrounded by people and still feel somehow isolated, different or alone.

"Loneliness affects millions of people in the UK every year and is a key driver of poor mental health. Research by the Mental Health Foundation has found that loneliness increased during the COVID pandemic and that it has been a contributing factor to higher levels of distress, resulting from people's sense of isolation and reduced ability to connect with others.

"Libraries across Wiltshire offer a range of activities all year round that enable people to come together, to make friendships and reduce loneliness in our communities.  If loneliness is affecting your life, why not try one of the following groups which may help."

'Reading Friends' Shared Reading groups boosting mental wellbeing by reading poems together: Groups are run by trained volunteers at Trowbridge; Salisbury; Calne; and Royal Wootton Bassett Libraries.

'Rhyme-times'for babies and toddlers. New parents can be vulnerable to feelings of loneliness, isolation and depression. Joining a free library rhyme-time provides a supportive group for new parents and promotes your child's development!   

'Tea and Chat' online 'Reading Friends' poetry and book chat sessions via Facebook/YouTube - library staff boosting adult mental wellbeing by reading poems and talking about books - accessible to all.     

'Reading Well' for mental health collections of self-help books for adults, young people and children, tackling the theme of 'loneliness' are available at all libraries. Come and visit our friendly staff and volunteers in one of our 30 branch libraries and three mobile libraries. If you can't get to a library speak to us about the Home Library Service delivering books to the housebound and feel better with a book!

Wiltshire Libraries are also proud to support the Celebrating Age Wiltshire project that aims to improve the mental well being of older people and tackle isolation by providing cultural events in social venues including libraries (opens new window).

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