Loneliness is a feeling of sadness or distress about being by yourself or feeling disconnected from the world around you, which is felt more over a long period of time. It is even possible to feel lonely in a crowd. Social isolation, on the other hand, is being separated from other people and your environment, due to either personal decisions or circumstances. Chronic loneliness is on the rise in Australia; many of us, including seemingly connected young people, lack strong and meaningful relationships to enrich our lives and protect our physical and mental health and general wellbeing. According to a recent report on loneliness, one in four Australians reported feeling lonely each week. Experts warn of a “loneliness epidemic” that could become our next public health crisis.
What causes social isolation and loneliness and who experiences it? This book explores the extent and impacts of loneliness and isolation, and offers advice on how to encourage social connections so that you don’t have to go it alone.