Increased figures reveal growing concern for Australians

Statistics show loneliness has officially become an epidemic in Australia – and it’s affecting over half of the population.

Men and women of all ages and backgrounds have reported experiencing loneliness or have noticed an increase of the emotional feeling in society. Here are the facts you need to know.

The facts

According to a Lifeline survey, 60 per cent of Australians often feel lonely, while 82 per cent believe loneliness is rising across the nation. The survey also discovered couples were just as likely to experience loneliness as those who were single.

National Executive Officer of Relationships Australia, Alison Brook says loneliness is a crisis in motion.

“Loneliness has become a life-and-death situation,” Ms Brook said.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, men over the age of 85 have the highest suicide rate in Australia with loneliness being a major contributing factor.

Sociologist and author Hugh Mackay also believes the increasing number of people wanting to live alone is worsening the issue.

Figures from the Australian Institute of Family Studies estimates by 2026, the number of people living alone will double. Not only is this likely to have an effect on people feeling lonely, this will also make people living solo more common than two-people households.

How you can help

If you know of someone who often doesn’t have company, offer a gesture as simple as joining them for a coffee or helping them with their grocery shopping.

According to Federal Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt, starting a movement across Australia by asking others if they’d like company will help the current health ramifications of social isolation.

If you, or someone you know needs help, call the below help lines:

  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • Beyond Blue: 1300 22 46 36
  • Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
  • Headspace: 1800 650 890