Niloo met with Robert Eres to discuss his work on loneliness and impacts on long term health. Some of his research can be found here https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3644680/
Robert’s work involves understanding the relationship between loneliness and physical
health. He is of the view that conditions such as asthma, could be related to chronic
conditions of social isolation.
There is a need to connect at a deeper level where people share a common
interest or a cause. If not, even though part of a group, people will still feel lonely if
they are not able to connect with each other.
There tends to be a stigma around loneliness as most do not want to acknowledge
that they are ‘lonely’. Similar to creating awareness around other mental/physical
health conditions, we must make the community aware of how to recognise the
those suffering from social isolation, use simple programs and messages.
During a crisis situation, a community spirit is displayed, because of our ability to
empathise with those in a vulnerable state. By being more conscious of those
around us and those socially isolated, we will naturally be able to empathise with
the situations and provide support.
Dr Eres is a post-doctoral research fellow within the Social Health and Well-Being Laboratory. His current research interests involve understanding the role of emotion regulation in chronic mental ill health populations, as well as the influence of loneliness on physical and mental health indicators.
Dr Eres is now assisting Dr Michelle Lim in the Social Health and Well-Being Laboratory on projects aimed at reducing loneliness in young people with first episode psychosis.
More information about Dr Robert Eres and his research interests can be found at https://shawlaboratory.org