The government has a minister to fight this modern-day epidemic, but still decimates services for those at risk

Are we living through an epidemic of loneliness? Well, it depends who you ask. One Red Cross study found that more than 9 million people in the UK – almost a fifth of the adult population – are often or always lonely, and in January Tracey Crouch was appointed the so-called “minister for loneliness” to tackle the problem.

But the experts can’t decide if things are actually getting worse. At Cheltenham science festival last week Aparna Shankar, from St George’s, University of London, described levels of loneliness in the UK as having been “fairly consistent” since the 1940s.

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Read More Mindfulness won’t cure loneliness – the Tories must stump up hard cash | Moya Sarner

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