Community connection reduces loneliness

An increasing number of Australians are reportedly suffering from feelings of loneliness in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, with many of us still suffering from the impacts of social isolation.

Sydney’s Chief Resilience Officer says the remedy to this may be closer than we think, with research showing a connection to local communities can help reduce feelings of isolation.

“During the stay at home orders in the Covid-19 pandemic, almost half of us reported feeling lonely at least once in a 7-day period,” said Beck Dawson, Chief Resilience Officer at Resilient Sydney.

“Given loneliness has a significant impact on our health and has been linked to increased risk of premature death, high blood pressure and sleep problems, it’s crucial we tackle this problem.

“Research from Relationship Australia shows that people feel less lonely when they connect with their neighbours and that those community bonds also improve a person’s outlook on life more broadly.

“We also see that communities with strong social connections are more resilient when dealing with disaster.”

In line with this year’s Neighbour Day (27 March), Resilient Sydney is encouraging us to get to know the people who live next door.

“We only need to look at the recent pandemic, floods and bushfires to see that those first on the scene are often the people who live nearby,” said Ms Dawson.

“Neighbours can be a vital port of call in an emergency and can help each other bounce back when disaster strikes, by providing emotional and material support.”

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