In the lead-up to Christmas, there is always a spate of reminders about taking care of each other and ensuring others are not alone over the holidays. Visiting programs, shared Christmas meals, and calls to us all to check in on others are wonderful reminders about the significant problem of loneliness in our society and what we can all do to help. But while loneliness can be most significant for some at Christmas, when we are bombarded with romantic images of families and friends joyfully celebrating together, it is in fact a problem year-round. Further, while it is often associated with growing older, and is indeed a significant issue among older people, loneliness is a growing issue for people of all ages. It can also have serious implications for our physical and mental health.
We know that there is a whole range of things that can contribute to loneliness, and that it can be different for each person. We are encouraging the Queensland Government to engage with experts to explore strategies to address this issue in Queensland. However, we can each look at how we engage with and support the people around us, and be part of a conversation about how loneliness impacts people of all ages in our communities.
In the lead-up to Christmas, R U OK invited us to do one thing each day to help create a more connected world. We hope that we can continue this throughout the year and we invite you to be part of a movement to reconnect our communities.
We also invite you to be part of a national conversation on loneliness. We look forward to engaging with you throughout the year on issues around loneliness, isolation, intergenerational connections, and social cohesion. We hope that this new decade is an opportunity for us to build stronger connections and build a Queensland where we can all thrive.
If you or someone you know is experiencing issues and needs to talk to someone, contact
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
- MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
- Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
- Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36
- Headspace on 1800 650 890