Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 – Loneliness
The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is loneliness. We are aware at FLiP how going through a divorce or separation process can feel incredibly lonely. There may be the loneliness of no longer being in a relationship with one’s partner, perhaps intensified by the reality of having to co-parent with one’s ex but with a different tone and way of being between you, as if dealing with a stranger. The strange new world of divorce can also feel a lonely landscape to be in, an unfamiliar terrain filled with legal jargon, uncomfortable realities to have to take on board, and maybe unexpected practicalities that have to follow from a separation.
We try hard to think with our clients about how to manage this new and potentially isolating world that they can find themselves in, with a focus on two main areas.
Firstly, building up a support network of friends and family is crucial. This may sound obvious but for some this can feel like having to work a muscle that isn’t well used. It may mean that a person has to work harder than before at arranging to see or meet people, particularly if ‘arranging our social life’ was a role more usually taken on by their partner. It may mean having to think more in advance about making plans to avoid being on one’s own, or having to spend time with different people and make new friends, perhaps other single parents. This ‘having to think more about it’ can take a bit of adjusting to.
We also encourage clients to seek professional help around them if there are feelings of loneliness. This might mean making an appointment to see the GP, to let them know what is going on and to make that link, to think with them about coping strategies and sources of support. It might mean seeking out help from a therapist who can think about what might be helpful or supportive at this time. This reaching out for professional support can help someone not to be alone with their feelings and this is also an investment for their children, since it helps alleviate a feeling a child might have about having to be alone with concern for their parent’s feelings.
The following link suggests ways you can access support:
We also have a wellbeing and support services page here which provides the support available here at FLiP.
Jo Harrison is our in-house therapist. She is very experienced in working with individuals and couples who are separating.
For further information and advice, please contact any of our top London divorce lawyers and family mediators on E: firstname.lastname@example.org or T: 020 7420 5000.