The leading authority and national organisation, Ending Loneliness Together surveyed more than 4,000 adults between June and July this year, and found younger people (18-24) and middle-aged Australians (45-54) are the loneliest in the country. Rural Australians are reporting higher levels of loneliness than those living in metropolitan areas (35% vs 30%) and those living in the ACT (40%), Tasmania (37%) and Queensland (35%) had a higher proportion of people who were lonely.
The results show that despite one in three Australians feeling lonely, we’re not talking about it which highlights the stigma and misconceptions associated with loneliness and led to the inception and launch of Australia’s first Loneliness Awareness Week (7-11 August 2023).
This year’s theme, “Lonely, Not Alone” was chosen because:
● Loneliness affects people from all walks of life
● You don’t have to be alone to feel lonely; you can be surrounded by people and still feel lonely
● If you do feel lonely, it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you. It’s our cue to connect and there is help available
Ending Loneliness Together has been working closely with its partners AIA, Bolton Clarke, Frasers Property and Medibank to build an evidence-base and develop the tools to address and help combat the growing issue of loneliness in Australia.
Partners have been chosen for their ability and willingness to make solid contributions to research and practice and work together in a shared valued agenda to reduce the negative impact of loneliness on Australians’ health and wellbeing, communities and workplaces.
Commenting on the report findings and the launch of Australia’s inaugural Loneliness Awareness Week, Ending Loneliness Together Scientific Chair Dr. Michelle Lim says:
“We are privileged to present Australia’s first and most in-depth State of the Nation Report on Social Connection which gives us insight into the prevalence and consequences of loneliness on our health and wellbeing and on our community.
It’s clear that many people understand the consequences of loneliness but do not know how to talk about it, how to ask for the connections they need, and where to get help.
This report highlights that loneliness is a critical issue of our time and has been recognised as a public health priority for many countries around the world. While the detrimental health, economic and social impacts of loneliness are well established, community awareness and action remain low.