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Loneliness on the rise in Aust: Lifeline

AAP logoAAP 26/09/2016

Most Australians are feeling lonely despite being better connected than ever before thanks to the internet and social media.

Almost two-thirds of Australians say they often feel lonely, with four out of five people believing loneliness in society is on the rise, a survey by Lifeline found.

But despite their loneliness, Aussies aren't seeking available support.

About 70 per cent of the 3100 survey respondents said they had never contacted the charity or a similar crisis service before.

Lifeline chief executive Pete Shmigel says 55 per cent of the charity's crisis callers live alone, but a large number of survey recipients who said they frequently feel lonely live with a partner and/or children.

This highlights the fact that many people feel unable or are unwilling to seek help from their loved ones, he said.

"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," he said.

Only 53 per cent of respondents said they had someone to confide in when they feel lonely.

"We as a community need to be more mindful of how the people in our lives are coping, and send a strong message that no person in crisis should have to be alone - help is available," Mr Shmigel said.

He said the survey provided a timely look at the social factors that influence mental wellbeing, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics set to release new suicide data on Wednesday.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14

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