The Loneliness Experiment
All in the Mind: The Loneliness Experiment launches the world's largest ever survey of its kind on loneliness.
Britain is the "loneliness capital of Europe" according to the Office for National Statistics. Loneliness is likely to affect all of us at some point in our lives and is not only distressing, but is implicated in health problems such as an increased risk of heart disease.
For some people loneliness occurs because of a change in circumstances such as after bereavement, becoming unemployed or starting university. And while some tend to adapt to their new lives and the feeling of loneliness fades others are less able to shake off their pain.
The Loneliness Experiment, devised by Professor Pamela Qualter and colleagues, aims to look at causes and possible solutions to loneliness. And we want as many people as possible to fill in our survey, even if they've never felt lonely, because we want to know what stops people feeling lonely, so that more of us can feel connected. To launch the Experiment Claudia Hammond is joined by Olivia Laing, author of Lonely City, and psychology professor, Pamela Qualter, an expert in loneliness in young people.
Building on the success of 2016's Rest Test, which was the largest global survey on rest, Radio 4 will explore the topic of loneliness in a further collaboration with the Wellcome Collection.