Scots are being encouraged to reach out to family and friends this Christmas, with a majority of people across the country believing the cost of living crisis could increase loneliness.
A study of more than 1,000 participants in Scotland found 81% in agreement that the crisis will push more people into feeling lonely over festive period.
Around half of those asked, (51%) also said they will be cutting back on socialising in pubs, restaurants and clubs this Christmas due to financial concerns.
And almost a third stated that they will cut back on travelling to see family and friends because of the cost of doing so.
YouGov polling was conducted on behalf of The British Red Cross.
The charity runs projects across Scotland supporting people who are lonely to reconnect with their community.
They say that a phone call or text message to family and friends could make all the difference to those struggling.
The Scottish Government is also being urged by the charity to prioritise tackling loneliness and social isolation in the new year.
Kenneth Watt, policy and public affairs manager at the British Red Cross, explained that loneliness can impact people of all ages.
“During lockdown many of us realised the importance of human connection like never before,” he said.
“Sadly, loneliness continues to be a real risk this Christmas for many people.
“While the cost of living crisis will mean people are restricting how much they socialise, we know that there are simple steps we can all take to help.
“Reaching out to family and friends with a quick call or text message could make all the difference for those worried about being lonely this Christmas.
“Loneliness can affect everyone, of all ages, and we can all play a part in tackling it.
“But we also need to see continued action from the Scottish Government to make sure everyone gets the support they need.”