On Neighbour Day this year, we are challenging all Australians to do their part to help end loneliness by taking one concrete step to reach out to someone in their neighbourhood.
Neighbour Day took place on Sunday 31 March and the theme was ‘loneliness - what neighbours can do to create connections’.
“Research shows that one in ten people lack social support or connection, one in six experience emotional loneliness, and just under 1.5 million Australians report they have been lonely for a decade or more,” said Nick Tebbey, National Executive Officer for Relationships Australia.
“Loneliness has a detrimental effect on health and wellbeing, as those who are socially isolated have increased likelihood of early mortality, increased risk of developing coronary heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure,” Mr Tebbey said.
“Loneliness has also been associated with poor socio-economic outcomes, social anxiety, and poor mental health.
“This Neighbour Day, we are encouraging people to take the initiative and think about those who live around them who are lonely and may benefit from some companionship or help around the house or garden.
“From a simple smile, saying hello to those you pass on the street, joining a local club or association, to organising a community get together, an inclusive gesture could be the beginning of a rewarding relationship – and it could help put an end to loneliness,” he said.
For ideas on what you can do to connect with your neighbours, including free easy-to-use resources, such as invitations, connection cards, and tips on hosting an event head to our website neighbourday.org.
You can also download a selfie sign, and take a photo of yourself, share it on your social media and tag us @NeighbourDay, and use the hashtags #ND2019 and #ChallengeLoneliness.