Last week Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle Central, attended a Parliamentary event to learn about Mencap’s new report exploring isolation and loneliness which found people with a learning disability described their lives as a “prison,” with limited social contact during the pandemic causing some to feel suicidal.
“This week (20-26 June) is Learning Disability Week and I am backing Mencap’s campaign to make sure the everyone understands what life is like for people with a learning disability.
“Meeting and hearing stories from people with a learning disability and their families about their experiences during the pandemic shows the reality behind the shocking statistics we’ve seen around the impact of loneliness and isolation.”
She believes the government needs to make sure people with a learning disability can get the support they need, such as respite care and day services. It is also important to ensure sufficient day services are open to provide local activities and social opportunities for people with a learning disability.
Combatting loneliness and accessing support
“I’m supporting Mencap’s ‘Listen To Us’ campaign to ensure we combat loneliness through measures including community services and activities, alongside better support aimed at treating and managing poor mental health for people with a learning disability.
“People with a learning disability need to be able to access the support they need and deserve quickly.”