Loneliness is harming our society. Your kindness is the best cure | Rachel Reeves

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As co-chair of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, I know how valuable a simple chat can be. We all have a role to play in overcoming this affliction

Being lonely isn’t just a feeling. It is proven to be bad for you. Research shows loneliness is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day or being an alcoholic, that it’s as harmful as not exercising and twice as harmful as being obese.

When she went to university, Jo Cox was lonely. And while knocking on doors in Batley and Spen, Jo found herself speaking to people who were lonely, too. Once in parliament she sought out the Conservative MP Seema Kennedy and, together with 13 organisations working on loneliness, they set up a commission. After her murder in June 2016, I pledged to carry on Jo’s legacy and I now co-chair the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, alongside Seema.

Related: The age of loneliness is killing us | George Monbiot

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This post was syndicated from Health | The Guardian. Click here to read the full text on the original website.

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