LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION, ASSOCIATION OF DIRECTORS OF PUBLIC HEALTH
This briefing provides advice for Directors of Public Health and those leading the response to loneliness and social isolation issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The advice highlights the importance in intervening early to tackle loneliness and social isolation to prevent more costly health and care needs from developing, as well as helping community resilience and recovery. This can only be done at the local level through partnerships, with councils playing a role, as they own most of the assets where community action could or should take place, such as parks, libraries and schools. A table summarises the main risk factors of loneliness and social isolation, including those specific to COVID-19. It then briefly sets out councils’ role in working with partners and using community assets to address and help prevent loneliness and social isolation; looks at the steps councils were taking prior to the pandemic; and the changes that may be needed as a result of COVID-19 and opportunities to embed positive changes, such as greater awareness about the impact of personal behaviours on mental wellbeing.