Thursday, 8 August 2019

Lonely Millennials

22% Of Millennials Say They Have No Friends:

A staggering 22% of millennials [aged 23 - 38] surveyed by YouGov [in America] say they have no friends, while less than 1/3 say they have at least 10 friends. Meanwhile 30% of Millennials say they 'always or often feel lonely.'

Even if younger Americans are overstating their isolation, the jarring numbers reflect long-term rising trends in loneliness. Studies have indicated that loneliness has myriad negative mental and physical health effects. “Strong social relationships support mental health, and that ties into better immune function, reduced stress and less cardiovascular activation,” Debra Umberson, a professor of sociology at the University of Texas, told Time magazine in 2015.

Oddly, 25% of Millennials surveyed also said they don't have any acquaintances.

Is social media to blame? As the Daily News points out, "a 2018 study out of the University of Pennsylvania linked usage of apps like Facebook and Instagram to social isolation. “Using less social media than you normally would leads to significant decreases in both depression and loneliness,” the study’s author, psychologist Melissa Hunt, said at the time."

Meanwhile, according to Vox, many 30-somethings have a hard time making new friends as they get older, as their lives become busier and friends move away.  More recently, in a 2016 paper, researchers in Germany found a peak of loneliness in a sample of 16,000 Germans at around age 30, another around age 50, and then increasing again at age 80. “We don’t quite know why this is happening,” said Maike Luhmann, a psychologist who researches loneliness at Ruhr-Universit├Ąt Bochum and co-authored the paper. -Vox

Is loneliness hazardous to your health?

According to a 2015 meta-review of 70 studies, loneliness has been linked to higher blood pressure and heart disease - and increases risk of dying by 26%. "As long as we then do what we should do — reconnect with people — then loneliness is a good thing," said Luhmann, adding "It becomes a bad thing when it becomes chronic. That’s when the health effects kick in. And it becomes harder and harder to connect with other people the longer you are in the state of loneliness."

Monday, 5 August 2019

NHS Boost

After the announcement of an extra £1.8 billion, the Prime Minister has pledged that the sum to be paid this year, will immediately hit frontline services by boosting beds and providing new equipment. The funding is in addition to Theresa May's £33.9 billion yearly increase to go to the health service by 2023/24. Mr Johnson's latest spending pledge is expected to be used to upgrade wards, repair buildings and boost capital spending.

Nuffield Trust chief executive Nigel Edwards said the money falls far short of what is required, hinting at the £6 billion which has been mentioned before. The Nuffield Trust health think-tank said the sum will "only be a fraction" of the cost needed to upgrade 20 hospitals as Mr Johnson pledged on his first day as PM.

Labour, however, seized on the spending and said it "falls significantly short" of the amount needed to reverse Tory cuts. Labour accused the Tories of "smash and grab raids" by diverting money away from capital spending, used for equipment and repairs in order to plug funding holes elsewhere in the NHS. Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: "This announcement, even if it's ever delivered falls significantly short of what's needed to provide quality, safe care to patients after years of Tory cuts.

Liberal Democrat health spokeswoman Baroness Jolly said Mr Johnson's pledge "will not be worth the paper it's written on" when a no-deal hits.

Cancer Research UK said the investment would go "some way to address the immense strain" the NHS is under but stressed that funding in recruitment and training is essential to meet rising demand. Policy director Emma Greenwood added: "Upgrades to hospitals are welcome but the NHS is experiencing a staffing crisis. And it's impossible to diagnose more cancers at an early stage without the right staff.

He has faced continual criticism over his referendum battle bus claim that leaving the European Union would allow the UK to take back control of £350 million a week, some of which could be used to boost NHS funding. Obviously as we are still in the EU and still paying the EU, the pot for the NHS is smaller than everyone would have liked.