An online survey has found a quarter of Australians feel lonely 3 days of every week and 1 in 5 Australians feel they have no-one to talk to or turn to for help.

How does loneliness impact our physical and mental health? Melbourne's Swinburne University and the Australian Psychological Society conducted an online national survey of Australian adults. The results were alarming:

  • Just over 50 per cent reported they felt lonely at least one day of the previous week.
  • Nearly 30 per cent felt lonely for 3 or more days or felt they were never part of a group of friends.
  • 1 in 4 felt they had little in common with people, and rarely felt close to anyone.
  • Just over 20 per cent felt they never had someone to talk to.
  • 1 in 4 said they couldn't find companionship.

Anxiety in social interactions is common. And higher levels of loneliness are associated with higher levels of social interaction anxiety.

Married Australians and those over the age of 65 are the least lonely. And meaningful relationships are associated with better physical and mental health.

Loneliness is a public health issue. Don't shut your door on loneliness – reach out to your family, friends and neighbours.

Last Reviewed: 23/11/2018

myDr