€3 million allocated to tacking Loneliness in Ireland

Wed 17 Apr 2019

Following the publication of 'A Connected Island: An Ireland Free from Loneliness' on 13 June 2018, a €3 million mental health fund will be launched in May. This fund as well as a minister for loneliness were some of the recommendations that came from the taskforce on loneliness, chaired by Fianna Fáil Senator and GP Keith Swanick who established the 11-member group with Sean Moynihan of the charity ALONE.

The €3 million fund, secured by the Minister for Mental Health, Jim Daly, will help community organisations, including befriending projects, tackle loneliness. Applications for funding between €5,000 and €100,000 will be accepted.

'A Connected Island' cited that "recent research indicates that befriending initiatives can help to alleviate loneliness among older people. Befriending includes one-to-one, peer-to-peer, group, telephone, and befriending for groups who typically struggle with social exclusion. Organisations which provide these services and other relevant initiatives should be funded adequately. Resources should also be made available to pilot initiatives" (page 11). The document also identified that increasing the services of ALONE (a member and Quality in Befriending Award holder of Befriending Networks) were a priority (page 15).

To learn more about the Taskforce and download a copy of 'A Connected Island' click here.