20 January 2012
Young Britons have an average of 237 facebook friends but nearly two out of three people (61%) say they could only turn to two friends at most for support in a crisis, according to a new poll by Macmillan Cancer Support for Cancer Talk Week (23-29 January 2012).
A poll of 1,000 people, age 18-35, reveals that one in eight (13%) surveyed couldn’t even turn to one single friend for support when faced with a serious problem. Men were more likely (16%) than women (12%) to have no-one to turn to. This is despite the ‘boom’ of social networking sites such as facebook and twitter in recent years.
The poll also shows that social networking sites have also sometimes had a negative impact on friendships, as one in six (18%) of those who use these sites say they see or talk to their friends less often.
Jeannie Wilkinson, a Macmillan-funded Relate counsellor, says:
“It is surprising and concerning that people confide in such a small number of friends and family – and more so that others may not confide in anyone. It is important that, when going through something tough, like a cancer diagnosis and treatment, you can speak openly about what you’re going through to ensure you get the right support you need. We meet a lot of patients and people caring for someone with cancer who feel like they need to be ‘strong’ and bottle up their emotions. This causes great strain on relationships.
‘If anyone does want to talk to someone impartial or wants advice on how to talk to their friends and family, the Macmillan team can always help.”
Cancer Talk Week (23-29 January) is encouraging people to talk about cancer. Macmillan Cancer Support can help you with those difficult conversations, call free on 0808 808 00 00 or visit www.macmillan.org.uk.
For further information, please contact:
Sarah Whiteley, Media & PR Officer
020 7840 4933 (out of hours 07801 307 068)
Notes to editors:
Methodology: Macmillan Cancer Support (November 2011). An online survey of 1,000 adults aged 18-35 from across the UK, was conducted on behalf of Macmillan Cancer Support. Fieldwork was undertaken between 16-17 November 2011. The figures have not been weighted.
About Macmillan Cancer Support:
Macmillan Cancer Support improves the lives of people affected by cancer, providing practical, medical, emotional and financial support. Working alongside people affected by cancer, Macmillan works to improve cancer care. More than one in three of us get cancer. Two million of us are living with it. If you are affected by cancer Macmillan can help.