Community radio combats loneliness

Thursday, March 23, 2017 12:03 pm

By Corey Sutton | Brekky producer

Loneliness in Australia is a growing problem in our country, with one third of Australian’s experiencing severe lonelines in their lifetime. It’s associated with a range of bad health outcomes, but there is a solution: community radio.

The Joy of Social Connection, a report issued by the Community Broadcasting Foundation, highlighted how social isolation and loneliness in society can be reduced by community radio.

The effects of loneliness can be devastating, and are not limited to seniors. CBF Executive Officer Jo Curtin and her team’s research revealed that at any one point in time one in ten of us are feeling lonely.

Depression, alcoholism, and suicide are what results from loneliness in the community, but it can be fixed.

“We need to do what we can to support those(lonely) people. Loneliness is connected to a whole range of health comes, including heart disease and strokes. It’s as much as a threat to our wellbing as if we’re obese, or smoking 15 cigarettes a day.”

– Jo Curtin

The report outlined that local community radio can beat loneliness in three distinct ways:

  • by reducing this fear associated with loneliness
  • establishing themselves as a local hub in the community and connecting listeners to people, activities and organisations
  • encouraging people to volunteer in community radio

With more resources heading towards community radio stations, loneliness will be able to be addressed directly. CBF CEO, Ian Stanistreet hopes that through community radio, they can “connect lonely people with their communities and change the lvoes for the better”.

Here at 98five, we consider our listeners our family and we aim to treat them as such.

Podcast: Jo Curtin on Brekky with Kirste and Morro Thursday 23 March 2017

If you are experiencing loneliness, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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