A new national strategy, one of the first in the world, is being developed to tackle loneliness and isolation.
The draft plan, now open for consultation, will look at the causes of social isolation and loneliness and how they can be addressed.
Views are also being sought on how communities can build on the work of the Scottish Government, and lead on ensuring those at risk of becoming lonely or isolated have access to the right support networks.
Launching the draft strategy and consultation on a visit to the Hidden Gardens Project in Pollokshields, Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman said:
“Social isolation and loneliness can affect anyone – at all ages and stages of life. We know there is also a link between loneliness and poor physical and mental health and that this can impact on everyday life.
“We are leading the way when it comes to tackling this and will be the first country in the UK and one of the first in the world to develop a national strategy to address loneliness and isolation.
“The Scottish Government has, quite rightly, an important role to play but we want communities and society to lead it. We believe communities themselves are best places to ensure people who may be at risk of becoming isolated or lonely can access the support they need. Now we want to hear from you about what is important in tackling these issues. I would encourage everyone to have a say on this very important issue.”
Co-chairs of the Jo Cox Loneliness Commission Seema Kennedy MP and Rachel Reeves MP, said:
“We welcome the launch of this consultation by the Scottish Government. We are sure that our friend Jo Cox, who believed “Young or old, loneliness doesn’t discriminate”, would have been pleased to see the Scottish Government’s commitment to tackling the social issue of our generation.”
The consultation will run until 30 April.