The Fairness Community of Practice at the European Commission Joint Research Centre, Monitoring, Indicators and Impact Evaluation Unit invites you to an online event on:
Interventions to reduce loneliness among youth
The event is part of a webinar series on fairness and related issues
organised by the Fairness Community of Practice. For details on the upcoming events please see the Fairness CoP page.
- applied sciences | social policy | youth policy | pandemic
- Online only
- Online only
Why focus on loneliness interventions for youth?
- Loneliness is an issue common across the life span, peaking in both early and later stages of life (Verity et al., 2021).
- Young adults have been the most severely hit by social distancing during the pandemic. The share of people aged 18-25 who reported feeling lonely almost quadrupled in the first half of 2020 (JRC report). Interventions focusing on young people are crucial to prevent the experience of loneliness from becoming chronic.
- 2022 is the European Year of Youth, which puts the spotlight on young adults and their resilience after two challenging years. Addressing youth loneliness takes on particular urgency and importance to prevent long-term consequences after the pandemic. However, little is known on what works to reduce loneliness among young people.
The JRC continues to work on loneliness in the framework of a collaboration between the European Parliament and the European Commission Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion. The project will include a new EU-wide data collection on loneliness and the establishment of a web platform to monitor loneliness over time and across Europe. One specific area of the project concerns loneliness interventions and what works to tackle loneliness. This JRC Community of Practice on Fairness event contributed to this discussion and fostered an informed dialogue and knowledge sharing on interventions to reduce loneliness among youth. The event builded on a previous informal expert meeting on loneliness interventions (JRC report). More information about the JRC’s work on loneliness is available on the Loneliness in the European Union projects and activities page, in the Knowledge for policy platform.
Speakers and presentations:
- Introduction by Ms. Despo Sergiou, Policy Officer at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture
- Dr. Marlies Maes, Assistant Prof. at Youth Studies, Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Utrecht University.
- Mr. Pierre Atlan, responsible for EU and international affairs at the City of Pau.
- Mr. Rogério Bordini, PhD Researcher at Hochschule Offenburg.
The event was moderated by JRC.
The online seminar provided loneliness experts and practitioners with an opportunity to exchange experiences and knowledge on loneliness interventions.
The speakers illustrated that tailored interventions are also needed for young people, and that both the prevention and mitigation of loneliness need to be considered.
Different actors are needed: for instance, city level interventions that include actions and collaboration across public sectors can prove effective.
Also technology has the potential to tackle loneliness, especially among young people. Finally, the seminar discussed and showcased the critical importance of evaluating interventions to build an evidence base as well as to reach a bigger impact among those that need support.