Stats show Aussies struggle with loneliness during COVID-19 crisis

New data has shown that Loneliness was the most widely reported source of personal stress for Australian during the coronavirus crisis.

Over the month of April, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) third Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey was carried out, with loneliness becoming a serious concern.

The survey shows it affects more women than men, at 28 percent to 16 percent respectively.


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ABS Program Manager for Household Surveys Michelle Marquardt says around a fifth of people reported they were having trouble maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

“Around one in five people (19 per cent) also reported that they were experiencing difficulties maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which was more of a problem for those aged 18 to 64 years (22 per cent) than those aged 65 years and over (9 per cent).

“Australians have also made significant changes to their working lives, with nearly half (46 per cent) of all working Australians working from home in late April and early May,” Ms Marquardt said.

“Of those who were not working from home, 89% reported they couldn’t due to the type of job they had.

“Women were more likely than men to have been working from home (56 per cent compared with 38 per cent).

“During the period from early April to early May, one in six Australians aged 18 years and over (17 per cent) used a Telehealth service.

“Almost half (43 per cent*) of those services were done as a replacement for a previously arranged face-to-face appointment,” Ms Marquardt said.

The survey also highlighted changes to people’s lifestyles during the period early-April to early-May, including:

▪ 22 per cent who said they are eating more snack foods such as chips, lollies and biscuits;
▪ 14 per cent who said they are consuming more alcohol, and 10 per cent who said they are consuming less;
▪ 58 per cent who reported spending more time in front of their television, computer, phone or other device; and
▪ 29 per cent who reported less frequent consumption of takeaway or delivered meals, while 38 per cent spent more time cooking or baking.

Compared with March, fewer people were taking the following precautions in late-April to early-May:

▪ keeping distance from people (94 per cent compared with 98 per cent in March);
▪ purchasing additional household supplies (21 per cent compared with 47 per cent in March); and
▪ purchasing additional medical supplies (8 per cent compared with 29 per cent in March).

The proportion of Australians who said they were wearing a facemask remained about the same – 17 per cent in March and 15 per cent in late-April to early-May.

If you would like to talk to someone about your mental health, you can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

If you are in immediate danger call 000 now.  If you require advice or assistance, the following services can offer counselling and support:
Lifeline 13 11 14
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Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
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Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
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MensLine Australia 1300 789 978
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