Members of Gen Z are considerably more likely to be affected by lockdown loneliness, according to the latest nationwide survey.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that 16 to 24 year olds were five times more likely to say they had felt lonely in the past week than people aged between 65 and 74.
Members of Gen Z living in urban areas outside of London were most likely to report lockdown loneliness, the survey found.
Overall, 7% of the adult population – 3.7 million people – told the ONS they were "always or often" lonely during the last seven days. This represents an increase of more than a million people since the first lockdown a year ago.
Single people and people living in areas with high levels of unemployment were also more likely to report lockdown loneliness.
Underlining the link between access to nature and mental health, people living in rural areas were generally less likely to report loneliness.
Responding to the survey results, Dr Vivian Hill of the British Psychological Society told The Guardian: "My view is that maybe we’ve learned a few things as a society, that human beings do need to be connected, and maybe our day-to-day going out into the world, going into our jobs or to our places of learning, once that [is stripped] away, it’s revealed the hollowness, the life experience of many young people beneath that – that it’s either a question of being out and about with your friends or completely alone.”
If you are experiencing feelings of loneliness or isolation, you can call the Samaritans for free on 116 123 or email at email@example.com
You can also call the British Red Cross's dedicated coronavirus support line, which is open from 10am to 6pm every day on 0808 196 3651.
Under 25s can also call The Mix on 0808 808 499. This organisation offers free and confidential support to young people in the UK, and runs text and online chat support services too.
Further advice on how to cope with feelings of loneliness during the pandemic is available on the Let's Talk Loneliness website.