- Red Cross
- “Including me?” – a teaching aid to help teens and young adults deal with loneliness
Loneliness has been a subject of shame and taboo for a long time, especially among young people. Many experience it during adolescence and the following years, they are expected to thrive in social settings, have a hectic social life, and maintain a big group of friends.
For many young people, this is far from reality. Surveys conducted by the Red Cross show that 1 out of 4 Norwegian teens feels more lonely after the pandemic than before. Red Cross Norway’s project “Including me?” is a set of learning materials aiming to prevent loneliness and to make it less of a taboo among Norwegian youth.
In addition to focusing on inclusive language and actions, the teaching aid emphasises what young people can do for themselves. Other programs concerning bullying and exclusion usually place the responsibility on young individuals to include others, but ‘Including me?’ suggests solutions for the person who feels lonely or left out: “What can I do myself to be included more often? How can I contribute to get myself out of the comfort zone and into the development zone, to make more contact?”