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Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Adults Mental Health Support

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Social Isolation

man walking aloneWhat Is Social Isolation?

Spending time alone is a good thing, and some people require more alone time than others. Introverts, for example, enjoy spending lots of time alone and can feel drained through social interaction, whereas extroverts prefer the company of others and are recharged through social interaction.

Social isolation is typically considered unhealthy when people spend excessive time alone, particularly when they no longer benefit from time spent alone. Socially isolating oneself can mean staying home for days, not talking with friends or acquaintances, and generally avoiding contact with other people. Any form of contact, however limited, is likely to remain superficial and brief, while more meaningful, extended relationships are missing.

Social isolation can increase a person’s feelings of low self-worth, shame, loneliness, depression, and other mental health concerns. Isolation itself is not a diagnosis, but it can be a symptom of depression, social anxiety, or agoraphobia. Other things that impair social skills can lead to isolation, though not necessarily by choice, for example; physical disabilities, homelessness or hoarding.

When deciding to tackle your isolation, remember to take it slowly. Here are some tips you could try+

  • You can start by going somewhere where you won’t be expected to talk to people but still be around them, like going to the cinema.
  • Talk to your GP, you may be able to do some social anxiety treatments to help you manage any other mental health challenges that may be holding you back.
  • Catch up with a family member or friend and let them know how you’re feeling.
  • You could find a class or group that involves a hobby you enjoy, and take along someone you know for support.
  • Volunteer at a local charity or community project. Helping others is great for improving your mental health.
  • Join an online community. This is a good start when meeting new people as going out to meet new people in person can be daunting.

Here are some services that are here to help tackle social isolation and some of its causes.+

CPSL Mind logo Mind - Cambridge MIND have a mentoring scheme through which volunteer mentors can assist existing service users towards achieving a particular goal/s. What exactly is involved is agreed together with the mentor, client and one of our project workers when they set up the mentoring agreement. The main point to take is that to access this mentoring scheme the individual would need to be accessing our services as a client initially. Mind also have support for loneliness which can be found here.

HAY logo How Are You Cambridgeshire and Peterborough - is a website that brings together everything in the local Peterborough community that is good for mental wellbeing. It includes activities from yoga to singing, sports clubs to arts groups, places to talk or get a cup of tea, plus information about local professional mental health support.

Tempo Time Credits Tempo - Tempo Time Credits is a registered charity. We build local and national networks of organisations, bringing people together in their local communities to carry out valued and important voluntary work. Our volunteers earn Tempo Time Credits as part of a reward and recognition scheme for the invaluable work they do within their communities. These Credits can be exchanged for a range of services and activities provided by our local and national Recognition Partners through our corporate charity partnerships. 

Wintercomfort For the HomelessHome - Wintercomfort For the Homeless Wintercomfort - Wintercomfort supports people who are homeless or at risk of losing their homes in Cambridge. They offer a safe place where people can feel welcome and valued, basic amenities such as meals, showers and laundry facilities. The also offer a range of educational and recreational activities, opportunities to access other agencies (e.g. health service), legal advice and meaningful work and volunteering opportunities through our social enterprises.

SEW Positive logo
Sew Positive - Sewing, Sewcialise, Mending and Upcycling. We offer a term-time weekly drop in and other creative courses - some on Social Prescription - using sewing for people experiencing depression, anxiety and/or other mental health problems, and people who face social isolation. Led by a creative tutor and volunteers, we offer the chance to learn and work with a wide range of materials and techniques, including sashiko, boro (slow stitching and repair), visible mending, upcycling, basic sewing machine skills, embroidery, making a lampshade from upcycled fabrics, textile art and reducing textile waste. Sessions usually last for two hours and are open to all abilities – no experience necessary – you will work on something creative, stimulating and absorbing to increase well-being. For more information on our services visit our website or Linktree.

Cambridgeshire Community Arts logo

Creative Fenland logo

Cambridge Community Arts (CCA)- (Self-Refer)Cambridge Community Arts (CCA) - (Self-Refer) – CCA is a social inclusion charity Empowering People Creatively in Cambridge. They support personal growth and improved health through quality creative arts activities. Courses are run in accessible community centres by talented and experienced artists and creative practitioners. Activities improve art-form skills, confidence, wellbeing and develop creative and supportive communities. They particularly welcome learners with experience of health conditions, disabilities and/or unpaid caring responsibilities. For more information visit or phone 07763 280 029.

Creative Fenland - (Self-Refer) –  Creative Fenland is a project of Cambridge Community Arts. They use the transformational power of creative arts to connect with people and communities, improving health and wellbeing. They provide creative arts activities for wellbeing in the Fenland area, including Wisbech, March, Chatteris and Whittlesey. Activities improve art-form skills, confidence, wellbeing and develop creative and supportive communities. They particularly welcome learners with experience of health conditions, disabilities and/or unpaid caring responsibilities. For more information visit or phone 07707 972 721.

Mental health challenges are common but help is available and with the right support many people recover completely. Check out our Support Services Page for lots of services who are local and national!

*Some information gathered from and the services listed.


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