This month we’re pleased to support the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, a cross-party campaign encouraging people to tackle loneliness in their communities.

Through a twitter campaign, we’ve been helping to increase public awareness of the issues around loneliness, and encouraging people to take time out to talk to each other.

Loneliness has often been cited as a silent killer, and research shows that it can in fact increase the risk of premature death by up to a quarter. It also affects self-esteem, reduces chances of recovery after illness and has been linked with symptoms of depression and suicide.

We’ve been focusing on loneliness among older people, who are one of our key strategic priorities. Charities such as Age UK, the Alzheimer’s Society, British Red Cross and Independent Age are playing a major role in the campaign.

Analysis by Age UK shows 3.6 million people aged 65 and over agree that the television is their main form of company. Polling conducted by Independent Age found more than 1 in 3 people aged 75 and over say that feelings of loneliness are out of their control.

You can also follow the campaign on @JoCoxLoneliness