Loneliness and social isolation in mental health: proposal for a network for cross-disciplinary collaboration and capacity development

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Division of Psychiatry

Abstract

People are said to be lonely when they feel unpleasantly lacking in meaningful connections with other people. They are described as socially isolated when they have little social contact. Lonely people are more likely to be socially isolated, but the two do not always go together. Researchers have found that these states have significant impacts on physical and mental health. Some of this research is about loneliness and some about social isolation - we plan to look at both alongside each other, as it can be difficult to disentangle their effects. The strongest evidence is on the impact of loneliness on physical health. For example, people who are persistently lonely tend to die earlier and have more heart disease.

There is less research on loneliness and social isolation in mental health, but it's clear there are many links. For example, people who are lonely and/or socially isolated are more likely to become depressed, and depressed people who are lonely/lacking in social support recover less well than others. So by helping people to feel less lonely, some people could be prevented from developing mental health problems. Among people who already have mental health problems, strategies aimed at reducing loneliness and/or social isolation may help recovery. Some such strategies have been developed, for instance by charities. However, we don't yet have good evidence about how good these strategies are at reducing loneliness and social isolation, and about which are best for which people. We also don't know much about the extent to which they prevent people from developing mental health problems, or improve life for people who already have them.

Challenges in trying to improve this evidence are the many different influences on loneliness and social isolation. For instance, people's genetic make-up, the way they tend to think about other people, their caring responsibilities, their disabilities, the architecture and layout of the area they live in, and their income and education are just some of things that influence whether people become lonely or isolated. Possible ways of helping are also very varied. Talking treatments seem to help some lonely people. Other ways of helping include supporting people in rebuilding former relationships, or in getting involved in the arts, sport or religious practice. Digital ways of connecting may help some people. Another approach is to try to make a whole community, or even a country, friendlier and less divided.

No one is an expert in all fields relevant to loneliness and social isolation and their relationship to mental health, and that's why this call is a great opportunity for us to get together a network that includes many different kinds of relevant expert. We will hold a series of events where people bring together their expertise to map out what we already know between us about this field. We will also involve throughout our activities a group of people with personal experience of mental health problems. They will work with researchers, and with charities and public organisations who are active in this field, to work out the priorities for further research that brings together different types of expertise.

Once we've mapped the evidence and established research priorities, we will advertise to researchers within and outside our network an opportunity to carry out small projects that will help move this field forwards. There are some excellent young researchers in this field who have joined our network - we aim especially to support them and other potential future leaders in applying for funding. The final stage will involve presenting the network's work widely. This will include papers and a conference for other researchers, meetings with policy makers, and discussions with professionals and the public about our findings and potential next steps. Our blogger collaborators the Mental Elf and Mark Brown, and our roles in policy research will help us at this stage.

Planned Impact

The longer-term impact we are aiming for relates to two overlapping groups of people - people with mental health problems, and people in the general population who are lonely and/or socially isolated, or at risk or becoming so. By loneliness we mean a subjective feeling of not having sufficient meaningful contact with other people. By social isolation, we mean an objective lack of social contacts. The two are related but distinct: someone may choose solitude and thus be isolated but not lonely, or they may feel lonely despite considerable contact with others. We plan to study the two concepts alongside each other as they are often hard to disentangle in interpreting research evidence.

Regarding people with mental health problems, our ultimate aim is to find ways of reducing loneliness and social isolation. In terms of impact, loneliness is by definition unpleasant, so that reducing the current high rates among people with mental health problems is in itself a significant goal. Loneliness and social isolation are also associated with poor physical health and high levels of health service use, so that there are potential physical health and also economic benefits from reducing them. There is also emerging evidence that loneliness and social isolation impede recovery among people with mental health problems, another reason why targeting them may have a substantial impact. A better understanding of the interrelationships between mental health problems and loneliness and social isolation, and evidence on which strategies are most effective are means by which we hope our network will eventually result in these positive impacts for people with mental health problems.

There is also potential impact from our network's activities for people in the general population who are lonely and/socially isolated. There is evidence that such people are at greater risk than others of developing mental health problems. It is therefore possible that by reducing loneliness and/or social isolation, some mental health problems can be prevented. We hope that our network will result in evidence allowing this possibility to be further assessed. It may be that in such preventive work it would be most fruitful to target groups who are particularly vulnerable to loneliness and social isolation. These include people with disabilities, carers, new parents, refugees, students and older adults.

As our proposal is to establish a research network rather than to conduct a major study, we do not envisage achieving all these impacts within the life of the network. We do expect some short to medium-term impacts, including from dissemination to practitioners, policy makers and the public reports from experts from a wide range of disciplines on the current state of evidence on loneliness and social isolation and mental health. We hope that this will stimulate innovation and an intensified focus on the area. The relatively small projects that we will fund in the second stage of the project will also make advances in the field that may have impacts on practice and prevention.

However, the major impacts of the network are longer term. In the process of developing this application, we have brought together a substantial group of researchers from a wide range of disciplines field who were in many cases not aware of relevant work in related fields. By bringing together and enhancing this network, and stimulating discussions with people with lived experiences and providers of innovative services, we anticipate a wave of new work in this field that integrates biological, psychological and social approaches to explanation and intervention much better than before. We hope this will contribute to the impacts described above.

The network will also make an impact through support for a very promising cohort of early careers researchers. A very significant expected impact will be to contribute significantly to researcher capacity in this field.

Publications

10 25 50

publication icon
Ingram E (2021) Household and area-level social determinants of multimorbidity: a systematic review. in Journal of epidemiology and community health

 
Description The primary aim of our cross-disciplinary network is to encourage active research collaborations to improve our understanding of the mental health impact of loneliness and social isolation, and how this may be alleviated. Our outputs are therefore the sum of the parts of different research teams' outputs (some covered in individual Researchfish submissions), but also the ideas and collaborations generated through the creation of a network of collaborators. These collaborators, with particular emphasis on Early Career Researchers (ECRs), span disciplines including clinical psychology, applied mental health research, social epidemiology, public mental health, human geography, history, civil engineering, health economics, public health, social policy, sociology, social psychology, cognitive neuroscience, architecture, geography, the arts, digital design and human-computer interaction.

• What were the most significant achievements from the award?

The most significant achievements from this award to date are:
Membership: At the start of the award, the network had 143 members. The network currently has 426 members, spanning the disciplines mentioned above. Current membership consists of approximately 82 early to mid-career researchers, 115 Expert Scientific Collaborators UK & Ireland, 17 international experts, 109 Third sector & Policy, 33 practitioners, 24 people with lived experience of MH problems. These collaborators, with particular emphasis on Early Career Researchers (ECRs), span disciplines including clinical psychology, applied mental health research, social epidemiology, public mental health, human geography, history, civil engineering, health economics, public health, social policy, sociology, social psychology, cognitive neuroscience, philosophy, architecture, geography, the arts, digital design and human-computer interaction.

PPI: Establishment of a Co-Production Group of 20 people with relevant lived experience of loneliness or social isolation and mental health problems, who have been meeting every 6 weeks over Stage 1 (first 18 months of the network) to discuss the activities of the network, including planned research studies, planned events, and how to embed PPI into the research projects arising from this network. We have had a number of applications from lived experience researchers to the network Plus Project funding call, indicating the network is attracting interest from lived experience researchers, and progressing towards the network aim of increasing lived experience researcher capacity. Our target is to fund a minimum of two Plus Project applications from people with relevant lived experience.
ECRs: Establishment of a network of over 80 early career researcher (ECR) members, many of whom have presented or attended events we have held. They have also attended two dedicated events run for ECRs (25/5/19; 25/2/20), focussed on collaborating on research projects. We feel that the interest taken by ECRs in the network is an indicator of our success in achieving the network aim of increasing research capacity.
Events: Attendance of a range of network members from a wide range of research disciplines at six major network events, including giving presentations. This supports the network aim of developing cross-disciplinary research regarding loneliness and social isolation in mental health. Our research symposium in January 2020 showcased some of the primary research findings of members of our network. Events are uploaded here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychiatry/research/epidemiology-and-applied-clinical-research-department/loneliness-and-social-isolation-14
Online presence: Our Twitter feed has 3,250 followers. Our website hosts Powerpoint slides for many of our presentations, as well as podcasts, and links to key resources. Our network's main events have been live-tweeted and in some cases streamed, with a series of podcasts resulting from events. Our partner the Mental Elf has disseminated major events to a large on-line audience, and has guided us in engaging with the public and a wider group of stakeholders, resulting in considerable reach and interest beyond those attending in person. We have held three tweetchats to date on a range of topics, listed below, and found these a useful way to engage a wider audience.
• How does the built environment impact on loneliness in people with mental health problems? hosted by Network co-investigator Evangelia Chrysikou
• Digital technology & loneliness/social isolation in mental health, hosted by Network co-investigator John Vines
• Researching Eating Disorders and Loneliness: what questions do we need to ask? hosted by: Network members Lorna Collins (lived experience researcher) and Francesca Solmi (ECR)

Plus Projects: We held a series of events to identify research priorities for our first Plus Projects funding call, which also resulted in the creation of a draft theoretical model. We hosted a workshop at which the principles of embedding PPI in research proposals were presented by a member of our Co-Production Group. We made it a criterion of our call that proposals should have input from those with lived experience, and offered up to four hours of advisory time from members of our Co-Production Group to Plus Project applicants. We had 26 applications to the Plus Projects, and our panel meeting is on 11/03/20. We have maintained transparency in the process by which we will identify funded projects, based on advice from our Advisory Group, including review of each application by a researcher with lived experience. We plan to give feedback to our applicants at an early stage, so that unsuccessful candidates can use the feedback to develop their applications for subsequent calls.

Grants: Early in 2019 we won funding from the Campaign to End Loneliness to conduct a review of the literature on psychological interventions to address loneliness, and have submitted this. A further grant supported by our network, led by a network member and with input from one of our network leads, has been successful. This was a ESRC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative grant awarded to Dr Praveetha Patalay, UCL.

Research projects: Members of our network have conducted primary research with the support of network co-investigators, and are submitting these for publication. These include:

• Analysis of data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) to investigate the association between baseline loneliness and subsequent depression
• Meta-synthesis of qualitative data describing the experience of loneliness in young people with depression
• 2 qualitative studies using interview data with staff from voluntary sector organisations to investigate community sector practitioners' perspectives on the factors that cause and maintain loneliness in young people, and the strategies and barriers used to engage young people who experience loneliness
• An interview study with people who experience loneliness and mental health problems, exploring their views of what has been or could be helpful in alleviating loneliness
• A systematic review of the literature on psychological interventions to address loneliness
• An umbrella review of systematic reviews of the literature on loneliness or social isolation in relation to mental health populations
• An umbrella review of systematic reviews of the literature on loneliness or social isolation and mental health symptoms in general population
• A set of focussed reviews of specific pathways in our theoretical framework describing the links between loneliness or social isolation and mental health problems
• Planned analyses of a range of routine datasets, including ALSPAC, ELSA, APMS, Whitehall, and the five British birth cohorts in the UK, and Add Health in the US.
Exploitation Route We plan to continue network building as before, and to reach out to marginalised groups to reflect the need to understand the experience of loneliness and mental health problems in migrants, the homeless, new parents, international students, young people, and the retired. We continue to disseminate the research findings of members of our network through events, twitter, podcasts, and our website.
Sectors Healthcare,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychiatry/research/epidemiology-and-applied-clinical-research-department/loneliness-and-social-isolation
 
Description Our commissioned review of the literature on psychological interventions to address loneliness, submitted to the Campaign to End Loneliness in 2019, forms part of the report they released on 'The Psychology of Loneliness': https://www.campaigntoendloneliness.org/blog/the-psychology-of-loneliness-why-it-matters-and-what-we-can-do/. We anticipate that this will have an impact on the interventions made available to groups who experience loneliness. The findings from our review of interventions to reduce loneliness, anxiety and depression in young people, commissioned by the Wellcome Trust, has fed into Co-RAY briefings on loneliness and social isolation for young people, their carers, and people working with young people. Our consultation of people with mental health problems about their experiences of loneliness and during the COVID-19 pandemic, in collaboration with the Mental Health Policy Research Unit, will directly inform policy in the Department of Health. We are currently planning policy briefings in collaboration with the Tackling Loneliness team in the Department of Digital, Media, Culture and Sport. • A summary of how the findings from your award are impacting the public, private or third/voluntary sectors, and elsewhere. We have had strong representation from the third/voluntary sector and from NHS and social care practitioners at our events, who are interested in applying research findings to their areas of practice. We have had less evidence of impact on the private sector. • Challenges overcome to achieve impact. One challenge we have faced is how to reach audiences who cannot easily attend events in London. We have overcome this by live-streaming events, using the reach of our partner The Mental Elf on Twitter, uploading podcast discussion, using Tweetchats, and uploading presentations to our website. We have had very positive feedback from ECRs on the resources we provide on our website, and this has supported them in their grant applications and writing papers. In response the the COVID_19 pandemic we have switched all of our events online and this has improved access to those outside of London and internationally.
First Year Of Impact 2020
Sector Healthcare
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Contribution to Co-RAY briefing on loneliness & social isolation for young people, their carers, and people working with young people by LSIMHRN coordinator, joint-PI, Co-I and members
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
URL https://emergingminds.org.uk/co-ray-project/
 
Description Campaign to End Loneliness commissioned a review entitled: "Strategies for encouraging psychological and emotional resilience in response to loneliness" (competitive application)
Amount £20,000 (GBP)
Organisation Campaign to End Loneliness 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2019 
End 07/2019
 
Description Dr Alexandra Pitman supported & is on the steering group for Network member Praveetha Patalay's 'WWCW Highlight Call: Understanding social isolation and subjective wellbeing across the life course: a project using five British birth cohort studies'
Amount £238,982 (GBP)
Funding ID ES/T007575/1 
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description HEartS Professional: The Health, Economic, and Social impact of COVID-19 on PROFESSIONALs in the ARTs (Rosie Perkins is co-investigator)
Amount £387,878 (GBP)
Funding ID AH/V013874/1 
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2020 
 
Description Loneliness as an active ingredient in preventing or alleviating youth anxiety and depression: a critical interpretative synthesis incorporating principles from rapid realist reviews
Amount £34,178 (GBP)
Funding ID Active Ingredients commission 
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2020 
End 10/2020
 
Description Advising on Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Surveys 
Organisation National Centre for Social Research
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Members of our network are advising the research team who lead the regular Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Surveys in adding a loneliness measure to the next planned survey (Alexandra Pitman, in collaboration with Dr Sally McManus, NatCen).
Collaborator Contribution Members of our network are advising the research team who lead the regular Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Surveys in adding a loneliness measure to the next planned survey (Alexandra Pitman, in collaboration with Dr Sally McManus, NatCen).
Impact Next planned survey will include loneliness measure.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Advising the Pakistan Institute of Living and Learning on first Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey for Pakistan 
Organisation Manchester University
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Members of our network are advising the Pakistan Institute of Living and Learning (PILL) on the design of the first Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey for Pakistan in relation to including a measure of loneliness (Alexandra Pitman, in collaboration with Professor Nusrat Husain, University of Manchester, and Professor Nasim Chaudhry, PILL).
Collaborator Contribution Members of our network are advising the Pakistan Institute of Living and Learning (PILL) on the design of the first Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey for Pakistan in relation to including a measure of loneliness (Alexandra Pitman, in collaboration with Professor Nusrat Husain, University of Manchester, and Professor Nasim Chaudhry, PILL).
Impact Pans for the first Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey for Pakistan to include a measure of loneliness.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Advising the Pakistan Institute of Living and Learning on first Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey for Pakistan 
Organisation Pakistan Institute of Learning and Living
Country Pakistan 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Members of our network are advising the Pakistan Institute of Living and Learning (PILL) on the design of the first Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey for Pakistan in relation to including a measure of loneliness (Alexandra Pitman, in collaboration with Professor Nusrat Husain, University of Manchester, and Professor Nasim Chaudhry, PILL).
Collaborator Contribution Members of our network are advising the Pakistan Institute of Living and Learning (PILL) on the design of the first Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey for Pakistan in relation to including a measure of loneliness (Alexandra Pitman, in collaboration with Professor Nusrat Husain, University of Manchester, and Professor Nasim Chaudhry, PILL).
Impact Pans for the first Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey for Pakistan to include a measure of loneliness.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Interventions Plus Project: #KindnessByPost: a mixed methods investigation of an innovative participatory public health programme 
Organisation University College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are funding this project as part of our Interventions funding call. FEC £46,308.20, network contribution £39,498.70.
Collaborator Contribution They are conducting the funded research.
Impact No outputs yet. Social work, social anthropology, health economics, lived experience, community organisation partner.
Start Year 2021
 
Description Interventions Plus Project: DANCE/CONNECT Applying the social cure approach: an exploration of whether online group dance can support the social and mental wellbeing of young people living with anxiety 
Organisation University College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are funding this project as part of our Interventions funding call. FEC £14,012.35, Network contribution £11,966.51
Collaborator Contribution They are conducting the research.
Impact No outputs yet. Social anthropology, participatory methods, quantitative social sciences, epidemiology, social policy, psychobiology, education, 3rd sector partner.
Start Year 2021
 
Description Interventions Plus Project: Loneliness, mental health and wellbeing: an acceptability and feasibility study of UK Men's Shed. 
Organisation University of East Anglia
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We funded this porject as part of our Interventions funding call. FEC £41,028.56, network contribution £32,822.85.
Collaborator Contribution They are conducting the research.
Impact No outputs yet. Health sciences, clinical practice, public health, education, 3rd sector partner.
Start Year 2021
 
Description Interventions Plus Project: Songs from Home: Developing and testing an online songwriting intervention to tackle loneliness and enhance social connections in order to reduce symptoms of postnatal depression 
Organisation Royal College of Music (RCM)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are funding this project as part of our Interventions funding call. FEC £46,951, network contribution £37,560.80.
Collaborator Contribution They are conducting the funded research.
Impact No outputs yet. Performance science, music therapy, community organisation partner.
Start Year 2021
 
Description Interventions Plus Project: Testing the success of an intervention to reduce loneliness and increase wellbeing for young people with mild to moderate mental health problems 
Organisation University of Exeter
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are funding this project as part of our Interventions funding call. FEC £48,375.00, Network contribution £39,999.40
Collaborator Contribution Theya re conducting the research
Impact No outputs yet. Psychology, education, 3rd sector partner, lived experience.
Start Year 2021
 
Description Interventions Plus Project: What is the feasibility of prescribing community gardening to reduce loneliness and improve wellbeing in individuals with mental health problems? 
Organisation University of Essex
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We funded this project as part of our Interventions funding call. FEC £48073.42, network contribution £38,458.74.
Collaborator Contribution Theya re conducting the funded research.
Impact No outputs yet. Sports science, health science, 3rd sector collaborator.
Start Year 2021
 
Description Pathways Plus Project: Exploring the effects of loneliness and social isolation on experiences of recovery and relapse in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder 
Organisation University of Bath
Department Department of Psychology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We funded this 12-month Plus Project in our first funding call on pathways between loneliness, social isolation and mental health. FEC: £36,522 Network contribution: £29,217.60
Collaborator Contribution The research team is conducting the research with lived experience collaborators.
Impact Clinical and health psychology, lived experience No outputs as yet
Start Year 2020
 
Description Pathways Plus Project: Investigating whether loneliness is a mechanism that leads to depressive symptoms in older adults who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or have chronic physical health problems 
Organisation University College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are funding this 12-month project as part of our Pathways funding call. FEC: £30,706.10 Network contribution: £24,564.88
Collaborator Contribution They are conducting the research that we have funded.
Impact No outputs/outcomes yet. Epidemiology, lived experience, 3rd sector partner.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Pathways Plus Project: Left on Read: Young people co-producing new ways of thinking and feeling loneliness 
Organisation Manchester Metropolitan University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are funding this12 month project as part of our pathways funding call. FEC: £23,239.21 Network contribution: £19,311.37
Collaborator Contribution The team of researchers and their 3rd sector collaborator are conducting the research.
Impact No outputs yet. Educational and clinical psychology, art-based participatory approaches, 3rd sector partner.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Pathways Plus Project: Loneliness, social isolation and mental health in farming communities: An analysis of social and cultural factors 
Organisation University of Exeter
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We're funding this 12-month project as part of our Pathways funding call. FEC: £35,494 Network contribution: £29,035
Collaborator Contribution They are conducting the research.
Impact No outcomes/outputs yet Sociology and third sector partner
Start Year 2020
 
Description Pathways Plus Project: Pathways between LGBTQ migration, social isolation and mental distress: The temporal-relational-spatial experiences of LGBTQ mental health service-users 
Organisation University of Brighton
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We funded this 12-month project in our Pathways funding round. FEC: £36,739.00 Network contribution: £29,919.20. The project includes a partnership between academics and a 3rd sector organisation.
Collaborator Contribution The research team are conducting the funded research.
Impact No outputs yet. Social psychology, human geographic, 3rd sector partner.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Pathways Plus Project: The relationship between loneliness, social isolation, depression and mother-infant bonding in the perinatal period: a collaborative, mixed methods study (aka Mums Alone: The Perinatal Loneliness Study) 
Organisation University College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are funding this 10-month project as part of our Pathways funding call. FEC: £36,680.46 Network contribution: £29,334.36
Collaborator Contribution The research team we funded are conducting the research.
Impact No outputs/outcomes yet. Clinical psychology, Service-User Research, Sociology, Psychiatry
Start Year 2020
 
Description Scoping Review on Pathways between Loneliness, Social Isolation & Depression 
Organisation Brunel University London
Department Brunel Arts
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are leading a scoping review of potential pathways between loneliness/social isolation and depression with a team of early career researchers (ECRs) who are members of LSIMHRN.
Collaborator Contribution ECRs who are part of LSIMHRN and are affiliated with a number of UK and international universities are colaborating on creating a protocol for the scoping review including small teams of ECRs from different univeristies working together to come up with domain-specific search terms. They will also work together to analyse the data and write up the review for publications.
Impact Protocol for the review. Disciplines include neuroscience, cognitive psychology, psychiatry, epidemiology, mental health nrusing, occupational therapy, health psychology, applied social sciences, built environment.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Scoping Review on Pathways between Loneliness, Social Isolation & Depression 
Organisation City, University of London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are leading a scoping review of potential pathways between loneliness/social isolation and depression with a team of early career researchers (ECRs) who are members of LSIMHRN.
Collaborator Contribution ECRs who are part of LSIMHRN and are affiliated with a number of UK and international universities are colaborating on creating a protocol for the scoping review including small teams of ECRs from different univeristies working together to come up with domain-specific search terms. They will also work together to analyse the data and write up the review for publications.
Impact Protocol for the review. Disciplines include neuroscience, cognitive psychology, psychiatry, epidemiology, mental health nrusing, occupational therapy, health psychology, applied social sciences, built environment.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Scoping Review on Pathways between Loneliness, Social Isolation & Depression 
Organisation Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Country Hong Kong 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are leading a scoping review of potential pathways between loneliness/social isolation and depression with a team of early career researchers (ECRs) who are members of LSIMHRN.
Collaborator Contribution ECRs who are part of LSIMHRN and are affiliated with a number of UK and international universities are colaborating on creating a protocol for the scoping review including small teams of ECRs from different univeristies working together to come up with domain-specific search terms. They will also work together to analyse the data and write up the review for publications.
Impact Protocol for the review. Disciplines include neuroscience, cognitive psychology, psychiatry, epidemiology, mental health nrusing, occupational therapy, health psychology, applied social sciences, built environment.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Scoping Review on Pathways between Loneliness, Social Isolation & Depression 
Organisation King's College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are leading a scoping review of potential pathways between loneliness/social isolation and depression with a team of early career researchers (ECRs) who are members of LSIMHRN.
Collaborator Contribution ECRs who are part of LSIMHRN and are affiliated with a number of UK and international universities are colaborating on creating a protocol for the scoping review including small teams of ECRs from different univeristies working together to come up with domain-specific search terms. They will also work together to analyse the data and write up the review for publications.
Impact Protocol for the review. Disciplines include neuroscience, cognitive psychology, psychiatry, epidemiology, mental health nrusing, occupational therapy, health psychology, applied social sciences, built environment.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Scoping Review on Pathways between Loneliness, Social Isolation & Depression 
Organisation Maynooth University
Country Ireland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are leading a scoping review of potential pathways between loneliness/social isolation and depression with a team of early career researchers (ECRs) who are members of LSIMHRN.
Collaborator Contribution ECRs who are part of LSIMHRN and are affiliated with a number of UK and international universities are colaborating on creating a protocol for the scoping review including small teams of ECRs from different univeristies working together to come up with domain-specific search terms. They will also work together to analyse the data and write up the review for publications.
Impact Protocol for the review. Disciplines include neuroscience, cognitive psychology, psychiatry, epidemiology, mental health nrusing, occupational therapy, health psychology, applied social sciences, built environment.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Scoping Review on Pathways between Loneliness, Social Isolation & Depression 
Organisation University of Derby
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are leading a scoping review of potential pathways between loneliness/social isolation and depression with a team of early career researchers (ECRs) who are members of LSIMHRN.
Collaborator Contribution ECRs who are part of LSIMHRN and are affiliated with a number of UK and international universities are colaborating on creating a protocol for the scoping review including small teams of ECRs from different univeristies working together to come up with domain-specific search terms. They will also work together to analyse the data and write up the review for publications.
Impact Protocol for the review. Disciplines include neuroscience, cognitive psychology, psychiatry, epidemiology, mental health nrusing, occupational therapy, health psychology, applied social sciences, built environment.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Scoping Review on Pathways between Loneliness, Social Isolation & Depression 
Organisation University of Glasgow
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are leading a scoping review of potential pathways between loneliness/social isolation and depression with a team of early career researchers (ECRs) who are members of LSIMHRN.
Collaborator Contribution ECRs who are part of LSIMHRN and are affiliated with a number of UK and international universities are colaborating on creating a protocol for the scoping review including small teams of ECRs from different univeristies working together to come up with domain-specific search terms. They will also work together to analyse the data and write up the review for publications.
Impact Protocol for the review. Disciplines include neuroscience, cognitive psychology, psychiatry, epidemiology, mental health nrusing, occupational therapy, health psychology, applied social sciences, built environment.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Scoping Review on Pathways between Loneliness, Social Isolation & Depression 
Organisation University of Oxford
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are leading a scoping review of potential pathways between loneliness/social isolation and depression with a team of early career researchers (ECRs) who are members of LSIMHRN.
Collaborator Contribution ECRs who are part of LSIMHRN and are affiliated with a number of UK and international universities are colaborating on creating a protocol for the scoping review including small teams of ECRs from different univeristies working together to come up with domain-specific search terms. They will also work together to analyse the data and write up the review for publications.
Impact Protocol for the review. Disciplines include neuroscience, cognitive psychology, psychiatry, epidemiology, mental health nrusing, occupational therapy, health psychology, applied social sciences, built environment.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Supervised visiting graduate student from Academisch Medisch Centrum Universiteit van Amsterdam (Amsterdam AMC) 
Organisation Academic Medical Center
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution A graduate student from Academisch Medisch Centrum Universiteit van Amsterdam (Amsterdam AMC) was supervised for a visiting research placement at UCL supported by the Loneliness and Social Isolation in Mental Health research network to conduct a meta-synthesis of qualitative data on the experience of loneliness in young people with depression (March to July 2019).
Collaborator Contribution The student conducted and published a meta-synthesis of qualitative data on the experience of loneliness in young people with depression.
Impact Published paper: Achterbergh, L., Pitman, A., Birken, M., Pearce, E., Sno, H., & Johnson, S. (2020). The experience of loneliness among young people with depression: a qualitative meta-synthesis of the literature. BMC Psychiatry, 20 (1), ARTN 415. doi:10.1186/s12888-020-02818-3
Start Year 2019
 
Description #mhTV webinar organised by Unite and the Mental Health Nurses Association 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Two lived experience researchers and LSIMHRN co-I Bryn Lloyd-Evans were interviewed about our joint LSIMH-Mental Health Policy Research Unity consultation, which involved lived experience researchers interviewing participants with experience of mental health problems about their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic and loneliness more generally.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbhbzhi5y0gwahydbit9FCg?app=desktop
 
Description Alexandra Pitman interview for Evening Standard 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Network joint-lead Dr Alexandra Pitman gave an interview to Evening Standard journalist and was quoted in his article.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/esmagazine/why-do-men-find-it-so-difficult-to-make-new-friends-...
 
Description Article for PESI 'Supporting Lonely Clients' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Blog post by LSIMHRN Co-I Roz Shafran in which she suggests six ways that therapists can help clients who are lonely.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.pesi.co.uk/Blog/2020/October/Supporting-Lonely-Clients
 
Description Arts, Play, Health: Playful music and musical play. Keynote at the Arts Play Health conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The keynote included reflections on the intersections between arts, music, play, and mental health including evidence of how participatory music enhances wellbeing via social connections.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Australian Association for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Master Clinician webinar series episode 'CBT for chronic loneliness: theory and practice' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact LSIMHRN Co-I Professor Roz Shafran (University College London) and LSIMHRN member Dr Michelle Lim (Swinburne University of Technology) gave a webinar on CBT for chronic loneliness.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.aacbt.org.au/aacbt-online-events/loneliness-may-2020/
 
Description Built environment & loneliness tweetchat 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Tweetchat focused on the question 'How does the built environment impact on loneliness in people with mental health problems?' hosted by Network co-investigator Evangelia Chrysikou.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychiatry/research/epidemiology-and-applied-clinical-research-department/lone...
 
Description Catalogue of Mental Health Measures webinar 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact In our webinar on 20th January 2021, Louise Arseneault, ESRC Mental Health Leadership Fellow, and her colleague Bridget Bryan, demonstrated the Catalogue of Mental Health Measures, a platform designed to provide easy access to information about the mental health measures included in British cohort and longitudinal studies. After providing some background they led us in a practical exercise highlighting cohorts with measures of social isolation, loneliness and mental health.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://youtu.be/SNc-fOQUtEg
 
Description Connecting in the Community webinars x2 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact In the lead up to our second funding call on Interventions, we ran a series of events to identify the gaps, promising areas and research priorities in different approaches to reducing loneliness, social isolation and mental health problems, both in the general population and for people with exisiting mental health problems. In our first two events held on 13th and 20th of May 2020, we partnered with the Mental Elf to explore how to improve social connection and mental health in the general population. The first webinar focused on the role of digital technology and the built environment in reducing loneliness, social isolation and mental health problems in the community. Short talks were given by academics (including Network Co-Investigators John Vines and Laura Vaughan) and third sector representatives (Wavelength) and practitioners (The Loneliness Lab, The Human Metric Lab, Urban Scale Interventions). Invited speakers who were not already Network members were invited to join (e.g. Austin Toombs from Purdue University, USA). Talks were followed by Q&A sessions on knowledge gaps, promising areas and research priorities.

The second webinar included short talks on community approaches to reducing loneliness, social isolation and mental health problems, which were given by invited academic and third sector speakers, some of whom were already Network members and others who are now Network members as a result of contributing to the event. After the talks and a Q&A section, we split into smaller break-out rooms to have small-group discussions on research gaps, promising areas and research priorities in relation to multi-faceted approaches to reducing loneliness and social isolation in order to prevent mental health problems in the general population. These were facilitated by Network Co-Investigators, who also took notes and fed back key points to the larger group.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychiatry/research/epidemiology-and-applied-clinical-research-department/lone...
 
Description Contribution to Meet the Street at Christmas TV series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Network coordinator/research fellow Ellie Pearce was interviewed for BBC series about choirs as a way to alleviate loneliness.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2019/51/meet-the-street-at-christmas-e1
 
Description Corss-network Workshops for Early Career Researchers interested in mental health research x2 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The Loneliness & Social Isolation in Mental Health Research Network is one of 8 UKRI-funded Mental Health Research Networks.

Based on the priorities from a cross-network survey led by the Closing the Gap Network, the coordination team for the 8 Mental Health Research Networks organised a free 2-part event series in November and December 2020, bringing together researchers from across the networks to provide proactive advice on applying to and securing mental health research funding, career development, and networking.

We define Early Career Researchers very broadly to include graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in and outside academia. The first event focused on funding and the second on networking and career development.

LSIMHRN was involved in initial discussions about these events and LSIMHRN ECRs attended these events.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychiatry/research/epidemiology-and-applied-clinical-research-department/lone...
 
Description Cross-network event: Talk on funding to Early Career Researchers in all 8 UKRI-funded mental health research networks 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact LSIMHRN coordinator gave a talk on 'top tips' for applying for funding to ECRs as well as outlining opportunities for ECRs to get involved in network activities. Two ECRs who are PIs on plus projects funded by LSIMHRN also gave talks on their experiences and advice to others thinking of applying to similar funding calls.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Dr Eiluned Pearce interviewed for Nordic Cuddle blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Dr Eiluned Pearce wrote responses to interview questions for a blog post by Network members Nordic Cuddle, a therapy business, talking about her research into social relationships.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.nordiccuddle.com/post/nordic-cuddle-interviews-dr-ellie-pearce-research-fellow
 
Description ECR workshop on Pathways state-of-the-art review 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The aim of this event was to bring together Network ECRs in a joint project, namely a collaborative state-of-the-art review on the potential pathways between loneliness, social isolation and mental health. We collated a list of potential pathways/underlying factors from the workshop events in June and July 2019 described above. We have worked on developing these into a diagram depicting these potential pathways, and to search the existing research literature to assess whether there is already evidence for/against these pathways/factors. This will then be publicised to help network members identify gaps for future research. We have encouraged the participation of ECRs so that that they each bring their area of expertise to bear on the review, to elucidate particular pathways that together will create a clear overall picture of the interacting factors. Through working together on this review, we hope that ECRs will gain skills in review methods, create collaborations that last beyond the project, and will become co-authors on the resulting paper. We will ensure that the ECRs concerned understand that involvement is voluntary and we will agree authorship rules for the group.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description ENMESH Symposium 'DEVELOPING INTERVENTIONS FOR LONELINESS IN MENTAL HEALTH' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Symposium on developing interventions for loneliness in mental health with the following speakers: LSIMHRN joint-lead Sonia Johnson, Brynmor Lloyd-Evans (LSIMHRN Co-I), Dora Stefanidou, Vanessa Pinfold (McPin Foundation, bringing a lived experience perspective), Khulood Alasmawi.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.enmesh.eu/Enmesh_Conferences.html
 
Description Five blogs on 3 Network events and 2 related events organised/attended by Network members 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact We supported the writing of five blogs that are hosted on our website:

(1) Network early career researcher Vasiliki Tzouvara wrote a blog on the Network event 'Understanding loneliness among people with mental health problems: What I took from the UKRI Loneliness & Social Isolation in Mental Health Research Network workshop on 26th June 2019'
(2) A member of the Network Co-Production Group wrote a blog on 'Mapping the Pathways: Loneliness and Social Isolation in Mental Health: A workshop for Network members, July 2019'
(3) Network early career researcher Molly Bird wrote a blog on the Network Showcase Symposium event in January 2020
(4) Network early career researcher Alex Vickery attended the Future Roots/Countrymen conference on behalf of the Network and wrote a blog about her experiences
(5) Network early career researcher Lara McNally wrote a blog about a Parental Loneliness stakeholder event organised by Network member Rebecca Nowland at the University of Central Lancashire
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychiatry/research/epidemiology-and-applied-clinical-research-department/lone...
 
Description Invited talk at the Australian National University on loneliness and mental health 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact LSIMHRN joint-lead Prof Sonia Johnson gave an invited talk on loneliness and mental health and a commentary was provided by Australian social researcher, Hugh Mackay. The presentation and discussion was be followed by a Q&A session facilitated by hosts, Prof Luis Salvador-Carulla and Dr Elizabeth Moore.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://rsph.anu.edu.au/news-events/events/loneliness-and-mental-health
 
Description Invited talk at the Birmingham Institute of Mental Health - Prof. Sonia Johnson: Is loneliness a good target for interventions in mental health? 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Joint-lead of LSIMHRN Sonia Johnson gave an invited talk in which she described some approaches to loneliness in mental health contexts, and introduced the work of the UKRI Loneliness and Social Isolation in Mental Health network and the opportunities offered, aimed at achieving a step change in research in this area.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/psychology/news-events/2019/06November-Talk-by-Prof.-Sonia-John...
 
Description Keynote at the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapists Spring Conference at Kings College London 'Loneliness and Mental Health - is there a missed opportunity to intervene?' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact LSIMHRN joint-lead Sonia Johnson gave a Keynote at the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapists Spring Conference at Kings College London on 12th April 2019 entitled 'Loneliness and Mental Health - is there a missed opportunity to intervene?'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Keynote talk at MQ conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact LSIMHRN joint-PI Sonia Johnson gave a keynote talk at the annual MQ conference, which was followed by a symposium focusing on loneliness and included talks from LSIMHRN members Pam Qualter, Tim Matthews and Luc Goossens.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Knowledge Exchange workshop on alleviating loneliness through dance/music 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr Eiluned Pearce was invited to an interdsciplinary and cross-sector workshop exploring dance/music as a way to prevent and alleviate loneliness. She led a session on 'What is loneliness?' outlining research into different types/dimensions of loneliness, the measures commonly used and the different approaches to interventions used so far. The knowledge exchange workshop involved 2 music/dance therapists, 2 professional dancers/representatives of a theatre company and 1 non-professional dancer, a work experience student from the theatre company, 2 volunteers from a third sector organisation, 3 researchers (2 postdoctoral researchers including Eiluned, and a PhD student) looking at arts and health or music and social bonding, and a composer who will work with the theatre compnay dancers to create a new production around loneliness. The aim of the workshop was to explore the possibility of future research collaborations (possibly involving application to the Network's Interventions funding call). Eiluned also supported the early career researcher Dr Bronwyn Tarr to apply for the grant to support this work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.torch.ox.ac.uk/event/moving-together-alleviating-loneliness-through-an-interdisciplinary...
 
Description LSIMHRN slack channel 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The LSIMHRN Slack channel has 163 members (as of February 2021). This workspace was originally set-up to allow parties interested in applying to the Interventions funding call to find collaborators. There are 6 special interest channels on #arts, #built environment, #digital, #community and at risk groups, #young people # older people. The topics of these groups were identified through webinars we ran in May and June 2020, after which we put members in touch via email.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020,2021
URL https://join.slack.com/t/ukrilonelinessnetwork/shared_invite/zt-fvjdr5k1-75i0MxLskCcPlsF~dY5B1Q
 
Description Loneliness and Social Isolation Research Network Launch Event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Event to launch the network and engage potential network members.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychiatry/research/epidemiology-and-applied-clinical-research-department/lone...
 
Description MHQT on social prescribing 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Network joint lead Professor Sonia Johnson chaired a Mental Health Question Time session on social prescribing.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeB6fb_ssvY&list=PLSKM2Zm6MngLis9TTuyzLy8mqdstJWIIl&index=2&t=0s
 
Description Mapping the Pathways: Loneliness and Social Isolation in Mental Health workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The aim of the event was to use the collective expertise of the Network to identify potential pathways and common underlying factors in relation to loneliness, social isolation and mental health. To contextualise the day, the Network coordinators/Research Fellows gave an overview of an umbrella view looking at epidemiological reviews on associations between loneliness and different mental health disorders. Two epidemiologists from the Network commented on the umbrella review and identified gaps for future research. We then invited short talks from Network co-investigators and members from a number of different disciplines to give their ideas on potential pathways or common underlying factors, in order to stimulate discussion. These included cognitive/neuroscience, psychological, epidemiological and built environment perspectives. After the talks we had two discussion group sessions (and a networking lunch), the first discussion on 'Why might people who are lonely or social isolated tend to develop mental health problems (and why may loneliness/social isolation make it harder to recover)?' and the second on 'Why are high rates of loneliness/social isolation found among people with mental health problems? Are there pathways from one to the other that could explain this?'. Each table had a facilitator and a note-taker. These notes were combined with those taken at the June event to create a list of potential research questions that fed into our first funding call and were provided as resources for potential applicants. The format of short talks to facilitate discussion followed by small group discussion worked well and generated many ideas for why loneliness/social isolation is statistically associated with mental health problems.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychiatry/research/epidemiology-and-applied-clinical-research-department/lone...
 
Description Mental Elf blog by Network early career researcher Dr Laurie Hare-Duke 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We invited Laurie to write a blog on a recent paper about psychosis and loneliness for the Mental Elf.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.nationalelfservice.net/populations-and-settings/loneliness/loneliness-psychosis-continuu...
 
Description Mental Elf blog, video and podcast: Can reducing loneliness help to alleviate or prevent anxiety or depression in young people? #ActiveIngredientsMH 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact In the first half of the mental elf blog, LSIMHRN member Anton Kall writes about a study investigating mindfulness as a way to reduce loneliness. In the second half of the blog, LSIMHRN coordinator Ellie Pearce reports on the review she led, funded by the Wellcome Trust, on loneliness as an active ingredient in interventions to prevent or alleviate anxiety and depression in young people. The blog includes a 2-minute video created by one of the lived experience leads which aims to explain the project to young people, and a podcast interview with Ellie about the review.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.nationalelfservice.net/populations-and-settings/loneliness/can-reducing-loneliness-help-...
 
Description Mental Elf podcasts for Network Showcase Symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Mental Elf provided live twitter coverage for our Showcase Symposium event and as part of this created podcast interviews with three of our speakers about their research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://soundcloud.com/national-elf-service/sets/mhloneliness
 
Description Mental Health Question Time on Loneliness 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact As part of the Network launch a mental health question time (MHQT) on loneliness was recorded with an expert panel and live audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwT1EHGy2dM
 
Description Monthly Network Newsletters 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact We send a monthly newsletter to Network members, which also gets forwarded to their contacts and often results in new members signing up. The Newsletter contains information about our (and other relevant) events and funding calls, as well as other opportunities for engaging with loneliness/social isolation and mental health activities and research, recent publications (research papers and reports, media articles, blogs, resources) and a summary of recent Network activities. We also have a 'community spotlight' section to highlight the work of community organisation members of the Network, and a 'creating contacts' section where members can make requests to find collaborators for research. To give one example, a researcher requested to include a message in the newsletter inviting contact from other members interested in workplace loneliness and received two responses - they are in an ongoing exchange about potential research collaborations. We also included an advert on behalf of a resilience research group, which received several requests for membership via the newsletter.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychiatry/research/epidemiology-and-applied-clinical-research-department/lone...
 
Description Network Showcase Symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact We invited Network members to submit abstracts for talks and/or posters and accepted 16 speakers to give short talks (10 minutes plus 5 minutes questions). These covered a broad range of topics and disciplines, and some of the presentation slides can be found here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychiatry/research/epidemiology-and-applied-clinical-research-department/loneliness-and-social-isolation-25. The format of the day worked really well (4 sessions of 4 talks each) and delegates seemed to really take the opportunity to network over tea and lunch, and to look at the posters. Informal feedback was generally very enthusiastic, and there was a great sense of the energy and range of approaches and interests in the Network coming together. There was also good engagement on twitter through coverage from the Mental Elf.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychiatry/research/epidemiology-and-applied-clinical-research-department/lone...
 
Description Panel for Oxford science & ideas festival for premiere of short film Moving Together 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact LSIMHRN coordinator Ellie Pearce joined a panel as a quest expert in loneliness to discuss the collaborative research project 'Moving together: Alleviating loneliness through an interdisciplinary music- and dance-based intervention programme' and to watch the short film made as part of the project. Other panel members included the PI (ECR who is a member of LSIMHRN), the composer, the director of the film and dance company members.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7M-cDDzNX0&feature=youtu.be
 
Description Panel member at the Great Exhibition Road Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Rosie Perkins was a panel member at the Great Exhibition Road Festival, October 2020, discussing how the arts enhance mental and social wellbeing. Preliminary results were shared from an in-prep publication on how the arts support social connections, reporting on over 4,000 qualitative responses.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://youtu.be/-SOnaeKqerY
 
Description Pathways funding call workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The aim of this event was to provide information on the Pathways funding call and to provide opportunities for potential applicants to form collaborations, particularly between disciplines and across sectors (e.g. academics with third sector). We also wanted to provide the opportunity for applicants to understand how to incorporate lived experience perspectives into their applications. We started with a networking lunch, followed by 3 talks giving information on (1) the scope of the call, (2) a member of the Co-Production Group (CoG) gave a presentation on involving lived experience perspectives, (3) the practicalities of applying. Afterwards there were two sets of table discussions around topics of common interest, which aimed to facilitate the creation of collaborations for the call. The delegates were grouped into these tables for the first discussion group in advance using keywords given at registration, and the discussion groups involved different disciplines and sectors. For the second set of discussions, delegates were free to move to different tables and could add their own topics of interest. In reflecting on this event in co-investigator and co-production group meetings, as well as in discussion with a third sector member of the Network, the need for more targeted matching for funding calls has been raised, perhaps through facilitated 'speed-dating'. Feedback from CoG members about the event was extremely positive: they enjoyed the opportunity to explain patient & public involvement to researchers, particularly since they sensed that many researchers lacked confidence in this. The CoG members felt that researchers had really engaged with them. Four of the applications to our call involve CoG members as co-applicants, and these collaborations arose from this workshop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychiatry/research/epidemiology-and-applied-clinical-research-department/lone...
 
Description Podcast for the Mental Health Nurses Association 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact LSIMHRN joint-lead Sonia Johnson was interviewed for a podcast on loneliness and mental health.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://open.spotify.com/episode/3Tz5WAwww0ysPBpkWFZ9xF
 
Description Professor Sonia Johnson talk at Campaign to End Loneliness policy & research hub meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Professor Sonia Johnson gave a talk presenting the findings of the Community Navigators Project research, which co-produced an intervention for social isolation and loneliness for people with severe anxiety and depression at a Campaign to End Loneliness (a third sector organisation) event on social prescribing.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.campaigntoendloneliness.org/blog/how-can-social-prescribing-help-tackle-loneliness/
 
Description Q&A webinar for Interventions Funding Call 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact This webinar was open to anyone interested in applying to the Interventions Funding Call. The event consisted of two short talks giving information about the call and good practice in Patient and Public Involvement (given by a CoG member), and breakout rooms to allow attendees to ask questions about the call. These breakout rooms were facilitated by the network joint-leads and co-investigators took notes of Q&As, which were added to our FAQs. CoG members also attended to answer questions on PPI. Informal feedback suggested that attendees found the event useful in preparing their applications.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychiatry/research/epidemiology-and-applied-clinical-research-department/lone...
 
Description Strategies for encouraging psychological and emotional resilience in response to loneliness stakeholder event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The purpose of the event was to get feedback from stakeholders on preliminary results for a report on psychological interventions for loneliness commissioned by the Campaign to End Loneliness. The all-day event comprised a series of talks from research experts as well as presentaiton of the preliminary report results, and small-group discussions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychiatry/research/epidemiology-and-applied-clinical-research-department/lone...
 
Description Symposium at the International Congress of Psychiatrists 'Loneliness & mental health problems in diverse groups' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact 'Loneliness and mental health problems in diverse groups' symposium was chaired by LSIMHRN joint-lead and talks were given by network members:

Chair: Professor Sonia Johnson, Professor of Social and Community Psychiatry, UCL Division of Psychiatry; Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist, Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust

'Loneliness and mental health problems in adults: isolating the evidence' Dr Farhana Mann, Wellcome Clinical Research Training Fellow, UCL Division of Psychiatry

'Lonely young adults in modern Britain: findings from an epidemiological cohort study Dr Tim Matthews, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), King's College London

'The relationship between loneliness and socio-demographic and clinical factors: comparison between people with borderline intellectual functioning and the general population.' Dr Afia Ali, Clinical Associate Professor, UCL Division of Psychiatry; Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist, North East London NHS Foundation Trust
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/docs/default-source/events/congress/ic19-full-programme-v3.pdf?sfvrsn=d48d...
 
Description Talk to Oxford Mental Health Campaigners for Change by Dr Eiluned Pearce 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Patients, carers and/or patient groups
Results and Impact Dr Eiluned Pearce was invited to speak to the Oxford Mental Health Campaigners for Change Group (https://www.rethink.org/help-in-your-area/support-groups/oxford-mental-health-campaigners-for-change/) about research into loneliness, social isoaltion and mental health, alongside a representative of a local charity working to alleviate loneliness, The Archway Foundation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Tweetchat on Digital technology & loneliness/social isolation in mental health 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Tweetchat on Digital technology & loneliness/social isolation in mental health, hosted by Network co-investigator John Vines
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychiatry/research/epidemiology-and-applied-clinical-research-department/lone...
 
Description Tweetchat on Eating Disorders and Loneliness 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Tweetchat on 'Researching Eating Disorders and Loneliness: what questions do we need to ask?' hosted by: Network members Lorna Collins (lived experience researcher) and Francesca Solmi (Early Career Researcher)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychiatry/research/epidemiology-and-applied-clinical-research-department/lone...
 
Description UCL Institute of Mental Health podcast on loneliness & mental health 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Network coordinators, co-investigators and a member of the Network Co-Production took part in podcast interviews and discussion on loneliness and mental health.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://soundcloud.com/ucl-mental-health/ucl-mental-health-podcast-loneliness-and-mental-health
 
Description Ula Tymoszuk and Rosie Perkins were panellists at the Southbank Centre's Creative Health Conference on 10 June 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Network Co-investigator Rosie Perkins and Network early career researcher Ula Tymoszuk were panellists at the Southbank Centre's Creative Health Conference on 10 June 2019. They contributed to the panel asking 'How do we address social isolation and loneliness through art?', discussing interventional and epidemiological work from the Centre for Performance Science that focuses on the arts and loneliness/social connection.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Understanding loneliness in people with mental health problems workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The aim of the event was to elicit interdisciplinary and cross-sector discussion on defining and measuring loneliness, and to generate research ideas around understanding the experience of loneliness as it relates to mental health. We started with a lunch for networking, followed by 1.5 hours of short talks from a variety of disciplines from Network co-investigators and members (including 3 ECRs) on current measures/dimensions of loneliness and what might be missing from these, historical perspectives on loneliness, philosophical perspectives, experiences of stigma and loneliness, the findings of a qualitative meta-synthesis on loneliness as experienced by young people with depression led by a visiting Network student, and two members of our Co-Production Group gave personal accounts of their experiences. Through the talks we aimed to stimulate discussion, which was structured in two 45-minute sessions. For each of these we had topics assigned to tables such as 'Measures', 'Feedback on the planned consultation interview/focus group questions' (ongoing), 'exploring experiences of loneliness in individuals with mental health problems', and 'How and why does loneliness/isolation arise in people with mental health problems?'. Each table had a facilitator and a note taker, and tables included a range of academics, third sector representatives, and practitioners. The discussions were engaging, and informal feedback and the liveliness of the discussions suggested that the delegates found the talks thought-provoking. After the event the network coordinators collated the notes from the different discussions and produced a list of potential research questions to feed into our first funding call.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychiatry/research/epidemiology-and-applied-clinical-research-department/lone...
 
Description Webcast video for the Academy of Medical Sciences on loneliness among researchers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact As part of the careers support section of the Academy of Medical Sciences website joint-lead Alexandra Pitman recorded a webcast on loneliness and social isolation and mental health as part of the support offered during the COVID-19 pandemic for researchers and practitioners working at home.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://acmedsci.ac.uk/grants-and-schemes/whats-available-to-me/career-support-space/loneliness-and-...
 
Description Webinar on Research priorities in addressing loneliness and social isolation in people with mild-moderate mental health problems 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Short talks on different approaches to reducing loneliness and social isolation in people with mild-moderate mental health problems were followed by small-group discussions on gaps, promising areas and research priorities. Speakers were Joe Potter from Samaritans (middle aged men and loneliness), Network Co-Investigator Roz Shafran (psychological interventions), international Network member Cath Haslam (social identity approaches), Network member Marcello Bertotti (social prescribing) and new Network member Raymond Bond (human-computer interaction), who joined the Network through contributing to the event. The breakout room discussions were facilitated by Network co-investigators.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychiatry/research/epidemiology-and-applied-clinical-research-department/lone...
 
Description Webinar on Research priorities in addressing loneliness and social isolation in people with severe mental health problems 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Short talks on different approaches to reducing loneliness and social isolation in people with severe mental health problems were followed by smaller group discussions on gaps, promising areas and research priorities. Network Co-Investigator Bryn Lloyd-Evans talked about social-focused approaches alongside two members of the Network Co-Production Group (CoG), who provided invaluable lived experience perspectives on the research. Other talks discussed psychological and social approaches to addressing loneliness and social isolation in individuals with severe mental ill-health. Network Co-investigators facilitated breakout room discussions and notes were taken by a team of Early Career Researchers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychiatry/research/epidemiology-and-applied-clinical-research-department/lone...