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“Loneliness is one of the greatest public health challenges of our time.”

by Catherine Asta Labbett

“Loneliness is one of the greatest public health challenges of our time”, Theresa May said today as she launched the first cross-Government strategy to tackle it.

Up to a fifth of all UK adults feel lonely, with evidence showing loneliness can be as bad for health as obesity or smoking, the Prime Minister has also announced the first ever ‘Employer Pledge’ to tackle loneliness in the workplace. A network of high-profile businesses have pledged to take further action to support their employees’ health and social wellbeing.

But what about the huge hidden workforce of women out there who are working for themselves? Who’s supporting us?

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been undertaking our own research, which 100’s of you have taken part in, and almost 40% of you who have responded to our #stress survey so far, say that they have felt isolated and lonely in the last 12 months.

40% of you. 

I myself had a lonely and isolating first year in business as a psychotherapist. I’d come from a huge organisation, one of the biggest in Europe. The NHS, where I was a senior strategist, immersed in people day in day out, to all of a sudden working on my own.

I was lonely.

I wanted, and so desperately needed to find my Tribe. To collaborate with other women who were in synergy with my brand and most of all, I wanted to try and reduce that isolation and loneliness I was feeling, and bring some fun and friendships into this new world of mine – a world that nobody else really understood.

I couldn’t find what I’ve just described, so I  created it, from scratch. I invested £200 from my maternity leave pay, and launched #girltribegang.

Life is ALL about connection.

As a talking therapist, I’m a passionate believer in real life, human connection.

We spend our lives online. I thought that if we could help to reduce reduce even a tiny bit of that isolation other women are feeling, well then that’s going to have a positive effect on their overall health, emotional well-being and success too.

Women up and down the country who work for themselves are feeling like this, and we’ll be using our #GTGLIVE18 on 3rd November in Manchester, as a platform to start a conversation.

It’s a subject I contributed to in this months Women’s Health Magazine, because loneliness is something I encounter a lot throughout my work too as a psychotherapist, and it hits women at all life stages, in many different ways.

It’s something I’m super passionate about.  It’s the very reason I founded Girl Tribe Gang, and we’ve created an incredible collective. With over 15,000 of us on instagram alone, and hundreds of you meeting up in real life every month across our 30+ Tribes, we have a collective voice.

Who’s in, and who can help us make a difference and ensure that this huge hidden workforce of women are heard.

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