Leading mental health charity, Living Well UK, has revealed the region’s loneliest postcodes – with Ladywood taking the top spot as the loneliest area of Birmingham. The inner-city district is home to over 144,000 people, around half of which could be living in solitude.

Almost fifty percent of Ladywood residents – 49.8%, according to Census UK data – are reported to be single occupancy households, leaving residents the most at risk of loneliness. Moseley and Nechells came in second and third, with 43.6% and 39.8% respectively.

This latest data comes as the WHO declares loneliness a ‘global public health concern’ and, according to the latest data from the Campaign to End Loneliness, 3.8 million people (over 7% of Great Britain’s population) are said to be experiencing chronic loneliness, meaning they feel lonely ‘often or always’.

Living Well UK has carried out the research to help inform new service provision, shining a light on the areas across Birmingham and Solihull in need of additional mental health services. While loneliness impacts cities far and wide, this data highlights the need for increased support services and spaces in the nation’s second city on a more granular level.

The top regions living in solitude according to Living Well UK’s research are:

1. Ladywood – 49.8%
2. Moseley – 43.6%
3. Nechells – 39.8%
4. Soho & Jewellery Quarter – 39.4%
5. Bordesley & Highgate – 36.4%

With changing social lives, smaller social circles, and less mobility, Generation X and Baby Boomers in Birmingham are also at high risk of experiencing feelings of loneliness and the associated mental health issues. Sutton Four Oaks residents aged 66 and above are some of the loneliest in Birmingham, with 17.1% of their aging population living alone. Sutton Mere Green and Sutton Walmley & Minworth aren’t far behind with 16.8% and 16.0%, respectively.

The loneliest regions among people aged 66 and over were identified as:

1. Sutton Four Oaks – 17.1%
2. Sutton Mere Green – 16.8%
3. Sutton Walmley & Minworth – 16.0%
4. Sutton Wylde Green – 15.0%
5. Northfield – 15.0%

Ben Howells, Chief Executive at Living Well UK, comments:

“It’s clear that loneliness is a growing cause for concern across the country, and Birmingham isn’t immune to that. With large parts of the city consisting of single occupancy households, thousands of people across the region are likely to be suffering from feelings of loneliness that could include being unsociable, feeling misunderstood, or noticing healthy habits slipping. This is often exacerbated by the effects of winter and pressure to pay off debts, post-Christmas, too.

“However, access to mental health support services is improving across the city. We work alongside almost 40 mental health charities and projects, who are all working tirelessly to improve the city’s mental health. We’ve also recently opened our new wellbeing hubs, called grounded., which are taking this support into communities in new ways.”

Living Well UK launched grounded. last year, with the first wellbeing café opening in Selly Oak in September, where a worrying 16.2% of people across all ages are at risk of being lonely. This was then followed by a wellbeing hub in Hall Green, which opened last month, aiding the similarly affected borough and providing accessible support to residents.

“We launched grounded. as part of a suite of mental health support – making it even easier for people to get in touch with mental health experts and meet new people. Highlighting these locations that are full of welcoming people, information, and support is essential to tackling the issue of loneliness in Birmingham head on,” Ben concluded.

To find out more about Living Well UK’s services and the support that residents can access, visit their website or head to your nearest grounded. location in Selly Oak or Hall Green.