About Loneliness Awareness Week Australia

2023 marked Australia’s first Loneliness Awareness Week.

Despite being highly prevalent, loneliness isn’t widely understood or spoken about. At an individual level, the cost of loneliness is declining physical, mental and social wellbeing, and in some cases loss of life. Loneliness is a social, economic and health issue, with the ripple effect being felt across communities and society as a whole.

To address loneliness in Australia, we need every Australian to better understand what loneliness is, so people feel comfortable talking about it, as well as seeking and offering support. Loneliness Awareness Week is about shining a spotlight on the universal experience of loneliness, squashing misconceptions about who experiences loneliness and highlighting the role we all play (individuals, communities, workplaces, government) in reducing loneliness and creating more opportunities for meaningful connections.

2023’s theme, ‘Lonely, Not Alone’ was informed by lived experience to highlight;

  • 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, you don’t have to go it alone, support and connection are available

Loneliness Awareness Week Australia is held on the first full week of August every year. In 2024, this will be 5 – 11 August.

About the Research

The aim of the study was to understand the distribution of social health across the Australian population, and examine the relationship between loneliness and social isolation and community knowledge, stigma, physical and mental health, health service utilisation, and work productivity.
The study was launched on 26 June 2023 and included a nationally representative sample of 4026 Australians aged 18 years to 92 years old. Following the completion of the survey, the data were weighted by age, gender, and region to reflect the latest Australian Bureau Statistics (ABS) population estimates.

The study was developed and led by Dr Michelle H Lim, Scientific Chair & Chairperson, Ending Loneliness Together, Co Vice Chair of the International Scientific Board, Global Initiative on Loneliness and Connection, Senior Research Fellow & Clinical Psychologist, Social Health and Wellbeing Group, Prevention Research Collaboration, University of Sydney, Iverson Health Innovation Research Institute, Swinburne University of Technology and Professor Ben Smith, Professor of Public Health, Social Health and Wellbeing Group, Prevention Research Collaboration, Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney.

About Ending Loneliness Together

Ending Loneliness Together is Australia’s national organisation driving a coordinated approach to reducing the negative effects of loneliness and social isolation in our community. Inspired by the UK Campaign to End Loneliness, Ending Loneliness Together brings together experts across lived experience, national and international research, government, and service delivery to advocate for change, build the evidence-base and design tools to effectively address loneliness in Australia.

 

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