Like many parts of the world, Australia is experiencing a pandemic of loneliness. More than 1 in 3 Australians feel lonely at least some of the time and nearly half of Australians don’t have neighbours they can call on for help.
Loneliness has a range of adverse effects, including impacts to mental health, cognitive function, physical health and immune system function. Some of these risk factors were exacerbated by the lockdowns and social distancing rules in place during COVID-19, making loneliness one of the most profound and rapidly growing social issues in today’s world.
Nearly half of Australians don’t have neighbours they can call on for help and despite living closer and closer to others in our highrise apartments, we don’t know the people on the other side of the wall.
Every workplace is different, and for many people, coming to the office can be a lonely experience. But research shows the mental health benefits of connecting with colleagues is immense.
Industrial workplaces are often a forgotten community. How do we build a stronger sense of community in Australia’s industrial precincts?
There are a number of wonderful organisations contributing to the body of research on loneliness to advance our understanding of the issues and solutions:
A national network of members working together to tackle chronic loneliness in Australia. The Little BIG Foundation is a proud network member.
Set up to address the growing issue of loneliness and its impact on mental health in Australia by supporting cutting edge innovative programs.
A US based organisation fostering evidence-based solutions for social connection.
We know there is something very special about Little BIG Communities and we wanted to better understand how neighbours create a sense of belonging in these places.
In August 2022 we partnered with Social Ventures Australia and undertook our first research survey to baseline loneliness and social connectivity in the community and better understand what matters most to those living in the local area.