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Byron Shire
January 22, 2022

National Psychology Week: isolation and loneliness

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Rural Aid is inviting primary producers to a webinar this month about the issues of isolation and  loneliness

During National Psychology Week, one of Australia’s largest rural charities is inviting farmers and rural residents across the country to attend this month’s edition of the popular ‘On The Couch’ webinar series.

Hosted each month by one of Rural Aid’s specialist counsellors, this month’s edition focuses on the topics of isolation, loneliness and being alone.

The challenges of living a solo life are common in the agricultural sector and in rural communities

CEO of Rural Aid John Warlters says that the challenges of living a solo life are common in the agricultural sector and in rural communities. ‘There is a distinction between loneliness and being alone, and it’s important to note that many people choose isolation.

‘Solo living is common in our remote and rural communities, but loneliness needs to be managed. In next week’s webinar we’ll look at the “why” and “when” of loneliness and how to create the best of both worlds.’

There are times in our lives when we crave isolation; times when we want to remove ourselves from society; times when we want to close the door and keep the world at bay

Counsellor Gary Bentley will host the webinar. ‘There are times in our lives when we crave isolation; times when we want to remove ourselves from society; times when we want to close the door and keep the world at bay. “Me time” is important,’ said Mr Bentley.

‘We can use “Me time” to reassess and regroup, recharge our emotional resources and refresh our spiritual strength. The problem is that isolation can become a prison of our own creation and can interfere with perspective altering the way we view our lives and the people around us.’

The answer lies in balance

‘The answer lies in balance: determining when isolation can tip over from self-protection to self-harm, when something that can be good for us becomes destructive.’

Any members of rural communities are welcome to attend. Attendance and comments made using the chat functionality of the webinar is strictly private and confidential.

The webinar will be held at 6pm AEDT, 5pm AEST on 18 November. Register here to attend the webinar: ‘Isolation, loneliness and being alone: The challenges of living a solo life.’

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