More than 80 per cent of Australians believe our society is becoming a lonelier place, according to a new survey recently released by Lifeline Australia.

CEO Pete Shmigel said findings from the national charity’s recent Loneliness Survey highlight the lifesaving importance of caring real-world relationships, as well as the need for whole communities to play a role in combating Australia’s suicide emergency – with deaths at 10-year-high levels.

“For a society that is more technologically connected than we have ever been, these results suggest we’re overlooking good old-fashioned care and compassion when it comes to our mental health and wellbeing,” Mr Shmigel said.

“Of the 60 per cent of respondents who said they ‘often felt lonely’, a large cohort lived with a partner and/or children. This is consistent with Lifeline data showing that, while a majority of callers (55 per cent) to our 13 11 14 crisis line live alone, often without strong support networks, there are many who feel unable or unwilling to seek help from loved ones in their own homes.

Key findings:

  • Over 3100 responses
  • 60% of respondents said they ‘often feel lonely’
  • 71.51% of respondents had never called Lifeline or a similar service (27.97% said they had)
  • The top three living arrangements of those surveyed were: 21.55% - lived with spouse or partner; 21.13% - lived with only a spouse or partner; 19.58% - lived alone
  • 53.38% said they have someone to confide in when they feel lonely (33.65% felt they did not, 12.97% were unsure / didn’t know)
  • 82.50% said that the feeling of loneliness is increasing in society. Of these, 44.14% were currently living with a spouse.
  • The question of ‘Do you feel more lonely when you use social media’ was inconclusive (31.46% said yes, 29.58% said no (the remainder was a mix between ‘other’ and ‘unsure’)

Read more about the Lifeline Loneliness Survey

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