During the pandemic, many researchers were, and still are, working far away from family and friends, with others are not able to return to work yet. Feelings of loneliness and isolation may affect you directly, your peers, or anyone you supervise/manage. The resources and stories below offer insights, support and ideas on dealing with isolation in continually challenging times.
[Page last updated 09 June 2021]
Dr Alexandra Pitman is an Associate Professor at the UCL Division of Psychiatry and an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust. Here she shares her insights from studying loneliness and social isolation, and how they connect to mental health.
Dr Pitman is also the joint lead of the Loneliness and Social Isolation in Mental Health Network - a research network that brings together many different perspectives on this topic. The 'Support and Advice' page shares resources of support and advice around loneliness, social isolation and mental health.
- Motivating yourself and your team during isolation– useful for managers of teams working in separate locations.
- 7 strategies for overcoming isolation and loneliness.
'Nurturing your networks'. Networks are a crucial space in which individuals can share challenges, opportunities, explore themes and contribute to the wider community. This resource, created by Alexis Hutson, is offered as a starting place to think about your networking practice. Click on the image below to enlarge it.
The Mental Health Foundation is part of the national mental health response during the coronavirus outbreak. They have produced a Coronavirus advice hub and focus on topics such as how to cope with loneliness during the pandemic.
Bupa have written an article with tips and advice on how to cope with the lockdown and some stories from other people who are living on their own too.
From staying in the present moment, to making a plan, the video below shares expert tips on coping with loneliness during lockdown.
Academics Need to Talk is a global movement of the academic community to support each other through the pandemic. ANT want to facilitate face-to-face discussions via video conferencing platforms, to encourage meaningful discussions that have the potential for collaboration, for mentorship and to give people in isolation the opportunity to talk to like-minded people. All academics at ANY career stage are eligible to join Academics Needs to Talk.
Dragonfly Mental Health are a globally operating non-profit organisation, formed by academics for academics. They aim to bring together academics from all over the world to support each other and create lasting systemic change. Dragonfly Café facilitates academics of all disciplines to support each other in cultivating mental health in both live events and through an online platform. During COVID-19, they are hosting three live events each week called "COVID Cafés".
"Social distancing and self-isolation will be a challenge for many people. This is because humans are innately social." Read this article from The Conversation with some tips to remain connected when you’re practising social distancing or in quarantine.
Campaign to End Loneliness have produced a blog on coping with loneliness and bereavement during the pandemic.
Are you or your child lonely? Action for Children want to help to make sure that parents have the support and confidence they need for their child and themselves. There is support available - parenting classes, children’s centre and home visiting schemes can help people to make small changes that enhance people’s sense of competence and parents’ satisfaction in parenting. If you'd like to find some support in your area, find your nearest Action for Children service.
According to a report by the Office for National Statistics, when reported levels of lockdown anxiety have started to ease, home-schooling stress and loneliness continued to increase for many. This article by explores two of the key factors that were driving the nation’s anxiety and provides support and advice for parents.