Loneliness in Aotearoa
Loneliness is a serious problem in New Zealand, with predominantly ‘Generation Z’ being the most impacted. In 2020, when New Zealand went into lockdown due to Covid-19, loneliness spiked in young people aged 18-24 from 5.8 percent in 2018 to 20.8 percent in 2020. This age group experienced feeling lonely the most.
The experience is subjective for all individuals, however feeling lonely relates to wider issues across social, economic, political, and environmental positioning. As human beings we are high users of social media and screen time which is creating disconnection, lack of deep relationships and social connection.
It is widely reported that loneliness can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia, and can lead to depression and suicide. Promoting social connection is imperative for the overall wellbeing and health of our people and our community.