Social Isolation and Loneliness

Have your say on social isolation and loneliness

Help us to better understand how Queenslanders view and experience social isolation and loneliness to inform our August 2021 submission to the Queensland Parliamentary Inquiry into Social Isolation and Loneliness. We are keen to hear your thoughts and ideas for the submission and to inform our work beyond August 2021.

We are interested in capturing your views and ideas regarding how Queenslanders understand and experience social isolation and loneliness. We will use your contributions to inform COTA Queensland's submission for the Queensland Parliamentary Inquiry into Social Isolation and Loneliness and for our work beyond August 2021. 

Social isolation and loneliness can be experienced at any stage in life. These are separate yet interconnected experiences, which may be interrelated with physical, social, emotional, lifestyle or personal factors. These experiences can be difficult to capture due to the individuality of experiences, the varying measurements, or under-reporting of those experiencing social isolation and/or loneliness; particularly loneliness as it is subjective (whereas social isolation is considered objective).

From a Commonwealth snapshot of high-income countries, between 10 - 30% of adults aged 65 years and older reported feeling socially isolated from others (with the figures showing 25% of Australian adults). Internationally, it has been suggested that of older adults, those over 75 years of age also report higher vulnerability to loneliness.

It has been estimated that roughly 1 in 4 Australians experience loneliness (or were currently experiencing an episode of loneliness). Those aged 18 – 25 years and 56 – 65 years showed higher vulnerability to loneliness, however, due to how responses were captured, this may misrepresent groups, particularly older cohorts (e.g. those who are digitally connected and have online access). The  Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported that 1 in 10 Australians aged 15 years and over felt they have limited social support, and 1 in 2 Australians felt lonely at a minimum of one day per week. 

These reports capture large scale responses pre-COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are reports which have started to track the direct or indirect impact of the pandemic on different groups of people across regions. The pandemic may add complexity to existing or developing experiences of social isolation and loneliness.

These are among the issues that the Queensland Parliamentary Inquiry is exploring and on which we are seeking your views and ideas for the submission; however, the Hub will remain open to continue to capture important insights so we may better inform our ongoing work.

  • Social isolation and loneliness submission due

    Wednesday 18 August 2021

  • Summary of submission provided on Community Hub

    Tuesday 31 August 2021

  • Survey and Ideas Wall open for completion

    From 28 July and for the remainder of 2021

COTA Queensland's recommendations to Queensland Parliamentary Inquiry

COTA Queensland’s submission was sent to Queensland Parliament 18 August. A copy of our submission is available here.

The Queensland Parliamentary Inquiry into Social Isolation and Loneliness received a total of 179 submissions. The Community Support and Services Committee met 30 August 2021 for a public briefing. A transcript of the proceedings is available here.

A summary of COTA Queensland's recommendations regarding social isolation and loneliness is below.

In light of the current global and Australian evidence, and the issues identified around social isolation and loneliness for Queenslanders, we strongly recommend the inclusion of an age-friendly framework which is also informed by the World Health Organisation's (WHO’s) Decade of Healthy Ageing strategy regarding social isolation and loneliness.

To the Inquiry, we presented five key recommendations (along with examples of opportunities for action):

1. To address the community and societal factors that contribute to social isolation and loneliness the Queensland Government strengthens its approach to achieving age-friendly communities.

2. In consultation with Queensland communities and stakeholders develop and implement a range of interventions that would most effectively assist those impacted by social isolation and loneliness.

3. Peak bodies such as COTA Queensland to collaborate with independent organisations and committees to better elevate the knowledge around effective interventions. The overall responsibility for the development and delivery of enhanced existing interventions or new interventions to be assigned to appropriate organisations.

4. Ensure the provision of program funding that reflects the scope and importance of the intervention work.

5. Establish a Taskforce comprised of representatives of the three levels of government, the community and health sectors to coordinate a whole of community response to social isolation and loneliness.

Detailed recommendations and opportunities are provided in the complete submission.

Thank you for your survey responses and ideas wall contributions to the date.

A friendly reminder that the Social Isolation and Loneliness Community Hub will remain open for 2021, and we encourage people to share this link with their friends, colleagues and peers as we are keen to continue to expand our understanding of social isolation and loneliness in all-age communities in Queensland.

Survey now open!

Our survey on your experiences and views about social isolation and loneliness in Queensland is now open! We are looking forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas here.

View All
  • Social isolation and loneliness

    This survey is about social isolation and loneliness and explores your views, experiences, and ideas about how these issues are experienced in Queensland and how they can be addressed. We will use your contribution to inform our submission for the Queensland Parliamentary Inquiry and our ongoing advocacy on this issue.

    The questions may take up to 30 minutes to complete depending on the detail provided in your answers. You can choose to complete the survey under your Engagement Hub profile or  to complete the survey anonymously. While we sometimes use examples people have provided us in order to illustrate issues being experienced in the community, we will never identify an individual person in our submissions. However you choose to complete the survey, please be assured your survey responses will be treated in confidence, and any contributions will be treated anonymously.

    This survey, and all the questions in it, are completely voluntary. You are welcome to choose not to submit your responses, or to refuse to answer any question you prefer to leave unanswered. If the questions in this survey bring up issues that are distressing for you, please see the resources section on this Hub page for links to a number of supports and services.

    This survey will be open for the remainder of 2021.

Idea Wall

SORT BY TOPIC

What are your ideas for how we could combat social isolation and loneliness in Queensland? They could be services or programs, changes to infrastructure, or ideas for how communities interact – what do you think could be done in our state?

Note: Content posted on the Ideas Wall is viewable to other members of the public accessing this page.