Curing loneliness, it’s a major health concern

Mrs Jannine Jackson1

1Frontier Services, PARRAMATTA, Australia


Frontier Services is experiencing the impact of health and social issues that are becoming more prevalent in remote Australia.  These social issues are often triggered by numerous stressors but they are made more complex by social isolation and loneliness. Loneliness is a real health issue with 1 in 4 Australian’s feeling lonely, 30% don’t feel like they are part of a group of friends and loneliness increases the likelihood of experiencing depression by 15% and leads to poorer overall quality of life and physical health.

Human beings by our nature are built for social connection and subconsciously are always seeking real, genuine and authentic relationships. Overlay that with the social isolation that people feel in remote Australia making face to face connection a greater challenge. Key health indicators for men in remote Australia are evidence of poorer mental health and social outcomes with men on average living seven years less and twice as likely to commit suicide than their city counterparts.

We know that social isolation leads to poorer mental and physical health outcomes.  This is also evidenced by higher rates of substance abuse, domestic violence, and family breakdowns.

Frontier Services has always believed in being the friendly ear that turns up at the farm gate and in the true value of mateship.

For 100 years we have been supplying Bush Chaplaincy in order to provide the community hub, the social connectivity, and the pastoral care. A bush chaplain never knows what to expect when they are visiting remote properties often their work is life-saving. It is more than being connected, it’s face to face contact an important key factor in reducing social isolation. It’s about providing real and practical solutions for people who may not have yet identified that they are in crisis.


Jannine Jackson, CFRE, FFIA, Grad Dip Mgt is a senior leader in the nonprofit sector with over 20 years working for diverse organisations spanning human services in health, social, disability, and advocacy.  Working for organisations like Australian Red Cross, NSW, Mission Australia, Arthritis & Osteoporosis NSW During her career she has advocated for political and policy change in health, and fundraising legislation.  She has led organisations through large change management strategies and significant growth in complex environments. She currently works as the National Director for Frontier Services supporting those living and working in remote Australia.