To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 1 September 2014 to Question 206875, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential of Men's Sheds movement to improve mental health and reduce loneliness; and if he will meet representatives of Men's Sheds to discuss those issues.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 1 September 2014 to Question 206875, what funding his his Department has made available for research into the effect of loneliness and isolation on health and wellbeing; and what research his Department has commissioned on that issue.
The Department has a strong interest in the impact that loneliness and isolation in older people can have on their physical and mental health and wellbeing. The Department’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funds a range of research relating to the effect of loneliness and isolation on health and wellbeing.
The NIHR School for Public Health Research has funded a systematic review of Men’s Sheds interventions in partnership with Age UK. A report drawing on this research is available on the Age UK website:
The NIHR has awarded £231,788 for a doctoral fellowship focussed on developing effective interventions to prevent or address the adverse effects of loneliness and isolation on the health of older people.
The Department welcomes Men’s Sheds interest in meeting with Ministers and we would recommend that they contact my office to request a meeting.