A new survey from the Australian Red Cross has found that as many as 5.6 million Australians are suffering from loneliness.
This survey comes at a time of year when many people are struggling with loneliness and social isolation. Overall, 7% of Australians feel lonely all the time, 16% quite often, and 32% feel lonely sometimes.
When we think of loneliness, we may picture an older adult who is living alone. However, this is not the new reality, as the survey revealed that young men reported feeling lonely the most. Specifically, men 18-34 were significantly more likely than other groups to feel lonely almost all the time or quite often.
Job loss was a trigger for loneliness among men 35-54 and men 55+ are most likely to feel lonely after a divorce or separation.
The top reasons for loneliness were:
- 34% Death of loved one
- 31% Moving from friends/family
- 22% Isolation at school or work
- 21% Divorce or separation
- 17% Losing a job
The survey also found that, not surprisingly, women were more likely to find ways to reduce feeling lonely by chatting with a friend or family member.
To combat loneliness, On the Line is encouraging everyone to participate in the Australian Red Cross ‘Season of Belonging’ campaign. During this season when we are all so busy, make sure you reach out to people who may be lonely. Say hi to your neighbours, volunteer at a charity, check in with someone who may be lonely and be kind on social media.
If you need someone to talk to, reach out to one of our counselling services:
MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467