New figures show Australians are lonely in isolation

LONELINESS was the most widely reported source of personal stress for Australians last month, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS) household impacts of COVID-19 survey.

ABS program manager for household surveys Michelle Marquardt said loneliness affected more women (28 per cent) than men (16 per cent).

"Around one in five people (19 per cent) also reported that they were experiencing difficulties maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which was more of a problem for those aged 18 to 64 years (22 per cent) than those aged 65 years and over (9 per cent)," Ms Marquardt said.

Compared with March, fewer people were taking the following precautions in late-April to early-May:

& keeping distance from people (94 per cent compared with 98 per cent in March);

& purchasing additional household supplies (21 per cent compared with 47 per cent in March); and

& purchasing additional medical supplies (8 per cent compared with 29 per cent in March).

The proportion of Australians who said they were wearing a face mask remained about the same — 17 per cent in March and 15 per cent in late-April to early-May.

"Australians have also made significant changes to their working lives, with nearly half (46 per cent) of all working Australians working from home in late April and early May," Ms Marquardt said.

"Of those who were not working from home, 89 per cent reported they couldn't due to the type of job they had.

"Women were more likely than men to have been working from home (56 per cent compared with 38 per cent)."

If you would like to talk to someone about your mental health, you can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.