Friends for Good

In November for the first time in Australia a group will be gathering to discuss a critical and often ignored issue…loneliness. The Australian Loneliness Dialogue national conference is the brainchild of Friends for Good, a charity determined to put this issue firmly on the agenda.

“We are calling on the Australian Government to take action” said Chairperson Patricia Lauria. “Our group has called for the development of a national strategy to provide a roadmap to move forward. Charities prevent loneliness every day, as do neighbours and friends who look out for each other and make essential human connections. Yet so many people are falling through the cracks”.

Overseas empirical research demonstrates that chronic loneliness is related to heart disease, depression, anxiety and even reduced life span. Patricia said “Friends for Good have heard first hand from callers to our telephone support service, Friend Line, that loneliness is real and impacts their health and wellbeing everyday”. Research tells us that loneliness is a complex problem and requires a multifaceted approach.

The conference then will bring together practitioners, service providers, academics and government staffers to collaborate about this issue. Patricia says: “we aim to learn from one another, formulate recommendations and make plans for the future to bring about real change”.

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