She said: “The findings of this research commissioned by Carers UK are shocking.
“The North of Ireland has the highest rate of unpaid adult carers, standing at more than 270,000 and of those, one in three describes feeling constant loneliness.
“We know that loneliness and isolation can have a debilitating effect on people and contributes to longer term mental health challenges.
“This feeling that carers can’t get out of their homes or can’t create time for themselves can be totally overwhelming. They need our support.
“There are certainly statutory interventions that could be made, for example providing additional carers leave for those looking after a loved one.
“But loneliness is a broader problem, that’s why the SDLP has been working with the voluntary and community sector to gather evidence, understand the causes of loneliness and take action to end this epidemic.
“During carers week, and far beyond, we should be mindful of the strains caring can place on our friends and family members.
“Take time out to ask people how they are, if they’re coping and how you can help.”