Rachael Hamilton MSP held a Member’s Business debate in Holyrood to highlight the issue of social isolation and loneliness brought about by Covid-19 restrictions.
Both Mrs Hamilton and the British Red Cross are concerned about worsening loneliness and social isolation this winter.
Red Cross research published last month showed rising loneliness across the UK and enhanced restrictions coming into force over the next few weeks coupled with the colder, darker winter period risks entrenching experiences of loneliness further.
Her motion called on the Scottish Government to act on recommendations outlined in the Red Cross ‘Lonely and left behind: Tackling loneliness at a time of crisis’ report which explores ways of tackling the crisis.
Mrs Hamilton has received many emails from constituents concerned over their loved ones feeling lonely and isolated throughout the pandemic.
She believes the Scottish Government must offer new solutions to help elderly and vulnerable people feel connected to loved ones.
Rachael Hamilton MSP said:
“This Christmas is going to be difficult for many people living alone, especially with the new restrictions coming in.
“The pandemic has meant many families simply haven’t been able to see loved ones for months and months, it really is heart-breaking.
“I used my debate to highlight this, and I want the SNP Government to take this issue seriously, as every day that passes, the impact on older people’s mental health worsens.
“Yes there is light at the end of the tunnel with the new vaccine, but we need to see action now, like interventions that help with digital communication.
“These winter months make it harder for people to meet outdoors, and as we approach Christmas, please look out for each other.
“A phone call, a video call, or a social distanced walk can make a huge difference to an elderly neighbour or vulnerable person”.