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Coping With Loneliness


Loneliness is an experience that means our current close relationships don’t meet our needs. Despite the name, you don’t always have to be alone to feel lonely. Loneliness can come up whenever we feel alone, unwanted, or isolated. Loneliness can come up when:

Some kind of social support is important to well-being. There is no right or wrong social network—people feel satisfied with different types of social circles, friends, and relationships. What matters is how you feel. If you feel supported and understood, your relationships are likely in good shape. If you feel lonely, you may be missing important pieces in your relationships.

If you do feel lonely from a lack of friends, you aren’t alone. Around 1 in 4 Canadians say they aren’t satisfied with the number of friends they have.

How Can I Cope With Loneliness?

Loneliness can create more loneliness. For example, loneliness can make you feel like you don’t fit in, which only makes it harder to reach out. This might seem to confirm that you really don’t fit in, which can make you feel even lonelier. Loneliness can be difficult, but it’s still just a feeling. It can be changed. When you challenge feelings of loneliness or start to make changes in your life, the cycle of “loneliness thinking” starts to break down.

Work on your Own Social Connections

Here are tips to help you build the relationships you need.

Do You Need More Help?

Loneliness that persists can be linked to depression, anxiety, and increased risk of other health problems. If feelings of loneliness are affecting your life, consider reaching out to a mental health professional. You can also contact a community organization like the Canadian Mental Health Association to learn more about support and resources in your area. Founded in 1918, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is the most established, most extensive community mental health organization in Canada. Through a presence in hundreds of neighbourhoods across every province, CMHA provides advocacy and resources that help to prevent mental health problems and illnesses, support recovery and resilience, and enable all Canadians to flourish and thrive.

Visit the CMHA website at

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