As part of its budget proposal, the government has put forward a proposal on how to end loneliness in Denmark. The proposal states that the government will prioritize ten million kroner in 2022.
The government envisages creating a so-called loneliness alliance and partnerships with relevant organizations, municipalities and others that can play a role.
According to Jane Heitmann, it is good that the government has now come up with a proposal, but expresses concern and demands a more concrete action plan.
– What is planned is a bit loosely described by the fact that you want to make some partnerships. And partnerships can be really nice, but it is far from enough, if you truly have an honest and sincere desire that no one should be lonely in Denmark.
– We want the government to take the initiative for a “National strategy against loneliness” with inspiration in the English model and approach, where loneliness has been recognized as a health challenge, she says.
In the report “Loneliness in Denmark – analysis of population data” by Defactum from the end of 2020, it appears that 380,000 Danes at the beginning of 2017 were seriously lonely, of which 55,000 were 65 years or older.
Jane Heitmann points to research as an important tool for bringing loneliness to life in Denmark.
– Some clear concrete goals must be set, and then research must be linked to the national loneliness strategy.
– So we can see if what we do and what we have to do in the future actually works. Otherwise, it just ends in loose talk, she says.
Like the government, the Liberal Party will set aside ten million kroner, but according to Jane Heitmann, the amount will only go to the preparatory work, which will qualify the strategy itself.
According to Ældresagen, figures from the National Board of Health indicate that loneliness costs society more than eight billion kroner annually in the form of increased sickness absence, increased unemployment and increased hospital expenses.
– We must end loneliness with a targeted strategy. Honestly, both young and old lonely have deserved much more than just empty words running into the sand, says Jane Heitmann.
Source: The Nordic Page