Social isolation and loneliness – although two separate concepts – are often interconnected, and can impact people across their lifespan. It is believed that 1 in 4 people in Australia aged between 12 – 89 years experience ‘problematic’ loneliness. Further, 1 in 10 aged 15 years and over felt that they had limited social support, and 1 in 2 felt lonely at least one day per week. Other studies indicate that 1 in 4 Australians felt lonely three or more days in the week, and 1 in 4 experience anxiety in relation to social interactions.
There is some evidence to suggest that Australians over 65 years of age were least lonely (in comparison to younger cohorts), and that they were in better health mentally and physically, and with lower levels of depression, social interaction anxiety and more engaged socially than younger cohorts.
COTA Queensland has been invited to participate in the panel discussion for the Australian Loneliness Dialogue 17 May 2022. This online event is hosted by Friends for Good and sponsored by the Queensland Mental Health Commission and will include a range of national and international speakers. They will be presenting and discussing the impacts of loneliness across the lifespan and for diverse cohorts including impacts on marginalised communities, strategies and approaches, and the international and national evidence around prevention and mitigation of loneliness.
Learn more about the Australian Loneliness Dialogue including access to the event program or register to attend on 17 May 2022.
Find out more about COTA Queensland’s work around social isolation and loneliness. Or visit our Social isolation and Loneliness Hub to contribute your insights to the national dialogue.
COTA Queensland is proud to participate in this event and we look forward to sharing insights from this conference through our Social isolation and Loneliness Hub and on our social media platforms.
 Ending Loneliness Together, R U OK? & The Australian Psychological Society, Pre-Budget Submission 2021-2022. Social recovery beyond COVID-19. Ending Loneliness Together, (Pyrmont, 2021), https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-05/171663_ending_loneliness_together.pdf
 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Australian Government, Social Isolation and Loneliness , Australia s Welfare 2019 [Snapshot] (11 Sept. 2019), https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-welfare/social-isolation-and-loneliness
 1 in 4 Australians feel lonely three or more days, and one in four Australians experience social interaction anxiety26; further, over half of the population felt they lacked companionship.
 Australian Psychological Society & Swinburne University, Australian Loneliness Report. A survey exploring the loneliness levels of Australians and the impact on their health and wellbeing, (Melbourne, 2018), 7, https://psychweek.org.au/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Psychology-Week-2018-Australian-Loneliness-Report.pdf