Restart Kilkenny's Loneliness Taskforce as dark winter months loom - Cleere

Cllr Peter 'Chap' Cleere says dark of winter will pose huge mental health challenge

Kilkenny People

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Kilkenny People

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sam.matthews@kilkennypeople.ie

KILKENNY

File picture: 'Around one in three older people live alone and with Covid restrictions, these people are more socially isolated than ever before' says Cllr Cleere. Image by pixabay.com

Fianna Fáil councillor Peter ‘Chap’ Cleere has called for the Loneliness Taskforce to be restarted ahead of the impact of potential Covid restrictions during the winter months.

"The last few months have been tough but we were fortunate to have had mostly good weather and longer evenings. Now - as we are facing into the dark of winter months many of the traditional social outlets - sporting events, live music, and our many festivals in Kilkenny - will not happen," said Cllr Cleere.

“We are sociable people and the lack of these activities may impact negatively on some. We need to look out for each other as well as having a renewed focus on positive mental health. Winter can be a traditionally difficult period for older people living alone and coronavirus will no-doubt exacerbate this.

"Around one in three older people live alone and with Covid restrictions, these people are more socially isolated than ever before.  The Loneliness Taskforce needs to be restarted so that community-lead programmes and initiatives can be developed to tackle the problem.

"It is likely that coronavirus will be with us for quite some time yet so the Government need to bring a renewed focus to the mental health issues that social distancing and elderly cocooning can cause."