LONELINESS IS NOT THE PRESERVE OF THE ELDERLY

I make no apologies for coming back to the problem of loneliness with the timely reminder on Mothers’ Day that it is not problem affliciting only the elderly.The latest instalment in a county-wide campaign to tackle loneliness is seeking to raise awareness of support available to Suffolk mums. A recent survey by AXA PPP healthcare and Netmums found that 28% of new mums were lonely since having their baby and nearly a quarter (24%) had no family living nearby to help them share the work of caring for their new-born child – factors that could be putting them at increased risk of poor mental health, such as post-natal depression.

In Stansfield, we are re-launching the village tea so people home alone on a Sunday can stroll along to the village hall and enjoy a cup of tea, a piece of cake and a good chat. The first one will be on 12 April.

The same survey showed that on-line forums have an important role to play in keeping new mums connected, with almost a fifth (19%) saying they get in touch with other new mums in this way. The county’s children’s centres also provide a range of face-to-face support, including weekly groups and opportunities to meet other parents. The Suffolk Parenting Hub provides parenting support for children aged 0-16 years, with a team of parenting co-ordinators based throughout Suffolk, on hand to offer support or advice. Find out more about the campaign at www.healthysuffolk.org.uk