Professor Peter Beilharz will moderate the panel discussion, ‘Why are Australian Men so prone to loneliness? And what we are going to do about it?’
Speakers: Professor Adrian Franklin (UniSA); Dr Katrina Jaworski (UniSA); Professor Bruce Tranter (UTAS)
Time: 6pm–6.30: drinks and canapés
About the event: It is widely claimed that loneliness is now a very significant social problem, some saying it has reached epidemic levels. Reaching for medical metaphors is entirely appropriate for an emotional condition that is compared with smoking and obesity in its caustic impact on our health and wellbeing. Yet, GPs are at a loss when it comes to helping those seeking their help for loneliness. Those organisations who are concerned with rising levels of suicide among men also know that serious, enduring loneliness is a very significant suicide risk factor, at all ages. Governments are wising up to the challenge, though they too are only just beginning to grasp the scale of the problem. In 2017, the significance of contemporary loneliness is such that it now carries Ministerial responsibility in the UK. In Australia, there is no such coordinated effort, yet the presenters of this panel discussion will show why it is desperately needed, and why so much hangs on sociology to provide the right intelligence on it.
While all Australians, men and women, are prone to suffering from loneliness, all recent studies have shown that Australian men are especially prone to loneliness and find it more difficult to deal with and recover from. Recent research by the panellists have discovered just how seriously Australian men are haunted by loneliness and where we need to start looking for the root causes and thus the solutions. We will discuss our recent findings and ongoing investigations with a view to identifying how we must go about tackling loneliness among Australian men – and who needs to be involved.