Thanks to our recent survey on loneliness and social isolation, we’ve got some great insight in to the impact our local groups have on people living with MS. The commitment and support that you all provide makes a huge difference to the MS community – thank you for all that you do.
Social isolation is when a person has limited access to a range and frequency of social contact. Loneliness is about how a person feels. It’s a painful emotion resulting from a person feeling they don’t have the quality of emotional relationships they need to be happy. Someone can still feel lonely within a family or social setting. Our survey found that six in 10 people with MS feel lonely – this is 12 times higher than that of the general population. 58 per cent of people feel the condition has left them isolated.
The causes of this vary from losing employment, mobility issues or a lack of understanding from friends and family. But the survey also found that of those six in 10 people who felt lonely or isolated, 78 per cent of them said that being part of a local group reduced these feelings.
‘Meeting other people affected by MS’ and ‘friendship’ are the most common ways groups help, followed by services and then support provided by volunteers at the group.
Here’s what some respondents from the survey said:
“The first time I met other people with MS I felt a sense of relief and could talk about things I'd never even spoken to other people about.” “The friendship and support that I have found through joining the group has been invaluable to the state of my MS journey.”
We’ve always known how important our groups are to the MS community, but hearing about people’s personal experiences really shows the incredible difference you make. Thank you for everything you do in your communities to support people living with MS.
For more information contact Joe Hepworth, Service Insight and Impact analyst