Groundswell Foundation has been established to address the growing issue of loneliness and its impact on mental health in Australia.
Loneliness is considered by many to be one of the most important and rapidly developing social issues in the world today, particularly when its relationship to mental health is considered. At Groundswell Foundation, we believe in Thinking Big, Starting Small and Scaling Fast to shape a better future for the next generation of people tackling loneliness in Australia and the rest of the world.
Saddler’s Creek Wine has partnered with the Groundswell Foundation which has been established to address the growing issue of loneliness and its impact on mental health in Australia. Owner of Saddler’s Creek Wines, Wendy Laureti, is passionate about bringing people together and providing opportunities to connect people.
Wendy Laureti explains “Supporting the Groundswell Foundation aligns with our core values of connection over isolation. Our Italian family culture is rooted in the tradition of bringing people together to give gratitude for life’s simple pleasures. Sharing food and a glass of wine around the dinner table with family and friends is a way of life. It has long been a family tradition to connect over the dinner table. So it become our mission for Saddler’s Creek to create a community where people could feel connected and share these simple pleasures. The work Martin Blake is doing with the Groundswell Foundation is so massive and so important. We wanted to support and contribute to this foundation and help address loneliness.”
The Connections Matter report, was recently launched by Groundswell Foundation Chairman, Martin Blake. He explained that the most challenging social issues that the world faces in the next 50 years are the impacts of loneliness. We aim to raise awareness and facts around loneliness because stunningly 25% or one in four Australian suffers from loneliness and it affects particular groups even more significantly, particularly young people. Astonishingly 37% of young people are lonely and that’s the fastest-growing group of lonely people in Australia because they are connected but disconnected.
Connection Matters report key findings show:
Loneliness — in a world of always-on social media and digital connectedness, it seems
almost inconceivable that loneliness could become a health crisis affecting up to one in
four Australians. It’s a health priority that has been almost entirely overlooked by
health regulators and providers in Australia. And it’s one that has been exacerbated by
the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Loneliness impacts over five million Australians and is a significant risk factor for poor physical health, mental health problems and decreased quality of life.
Connections Matter, a pro-bono report by KPMG Australia in collaboration with the Groundswell Foundation, has revealed the prevalence of loneliness across Australia, the significance of its impact on all areas of the community and outlines actions for both prevention and treatment of loneliness in Australia.
Loneliness can affect anyone. However, there are some groups that are more susceptible than others. Young adults are at particularly high risk, with 37–50% of people aged 18–24 reported to be lonely. Parents, particularly single parents, older people and people who live alone are also more impacted. It is also an issue among minority groups. First Nations people, those who identify as LGBTQIA+ and migrants experience higher levels of loneliness compared to national averages.
The Connections Matter report highlights the significant economic impacts of loneliness, with an annual healthcare cost to the Australian economy of $2.7 billion, or approximately $1565 per person per year. Mental health issues closely related to loneliness, including depression, are estimated to cost the economy up to $60 billion annually.
KPMG Mental Health Advisory Lead Andrew Dempster said: “Loneliness is a public health issue that many Australians identify with. However, it’s at risk of being trivialised because its impacts remain widely unrecognised. There is robust evidence to suggest that loneliness is detrimental to physical and mental health and can have profound socio-economic impacts.
“Loneliness also has a negative impact in the workplace, affecting both employees and employers. Workplace loneliness is related to lower job and team performance, reduced productivity, increased workplace errors, reduced organisational commitment and poorer staff retention. Lonely employees also take more sick leave, creating downstream impacts to the Australian economy,” he said.
Groundswell Chairman Martin Blake commented: “Although most Australians will experience loneliness in their lifetime, it remains a widely misunderstood, under-recognised and poorly addressed issue in Australia. It is more important than ever that we address loneliness as society progresses beyond COVID-19 lockdowns and isolation restrictions.
“As we progress beyond the Covid-19 Pandemic, lockdowns and isolation restrictions and face into an unprecedented period of global economic uncertainty, it is now more important than ever for all levels of government to address this critical social and health issue.”
The way forward:
Given the economic and health impacts of loneliness, the Connections Matter report recommends three critical actions:
At Saddler's Creek Wines, we value connection over isolation. This year, we have created a succession of events with the aim of bringing people together to enjoy life's simple pleasures. Each event will be focused on creating a community so you can attend with a group or attend solo and meet new people.
VIEW EVENTS https://saddlerscreek.com/event/
We will also be donating $1 from each bottle purchased of the Saddler's Wild White and Saddler's Wild Pink.
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