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A Price Of Lockdown: 215,000 New Zealanders Want Help To Cope

More than 215,000 adults say they would like extra help and advice to cope with isolation and stress caused by the COVID-19 Level Four Alert lockdown.

While most adults are coping well, a Horizon Research nationwide survey finds large numbers of younger people, adults in single parent families with children at home and those on lower incomes have felt isolated and lonely.

The April 8-14, 2020, survey of 1,267 adults nationwide reveals 71% of adults rate their degree of loneliness and isolation between 1 and 5, and 28% rate it between 6 and 10 (where 0 = not isolated and lonely at all 10 = very lonely and isolated).

Horizon says this indicates an estimated 1,017,500 adults have felt some degree of loneliness and isolation. Among 18-24-year-olds 66% say they’ve felt this. Those least likely to have felt this way are those aged 65+.

During the Alert Level 4 lockdown have you felt isolated or lonely?ALLAGE GROUP
18-24 years25-34 years35-44 years45-54 years55-64 years65-74 years75 years or over
0 - I have not felt isolated or lonely at all29%4%18%32%39%35%36%35%
10 - I have felt very isolated or lonely6%13%8%11%4%4%0%1%
I'm really not sure1%0%2%1%0%0%0%0%
N (unweighted)1,2274920922727023216080

By household type, those who say they have felt very isolated and lonely (score 10 out of 10) are those in single parent households with three or more children at home (18% of these households), and those with a single parent and one or two children at home (16%). One in 10 of those flatting and boarding also felt it keenly (10%).

By personal income, maximum levels of loneliness and isolation are felt by those with personal incomes of $20,000 a year or less.

When it comes to getting extra help and advice to cope, those most wanting this are 18-24-year-olds. 23% say they want help. Those aged 35-44 years and 25-44 years are also slightly above the overall average of 6% saying they want help.

Would you like some extra help or advice to help you cope with isolation and stress?ALLAGE GROUP
18-24 years25-34 years35-44 years45-54 years55-64 years65-74 years75 years or over
No, thanks87%73%79%84%90%95%96%94%
I'm really not sure7%5%13%7%7%4%3%5%
N (unweighted)1,2274920922727023216080

The results mirror earlier studies by Horizon and others which have found loneliness and isolation is being suffered most by younger age groups, even without the COVID-19 threat.

The survey was conducted among members of Horizon’s nationwide specialist HorizonPoll online research panel between April 9 and 12 (mostly between April 9 and 10). There were 1,267 respondents aged 18+. The survey sample is weighted by age, gender, employment status, educational level and personal income to ensure a representative sample of the adult population at the 2018 census. At a 95% confidence level, the maximum margin of error is +/- 2.8%.

Government help:

The Government is offering help services. People can call text 1737 to ask to talk to a trained counsellor or call the Government Helpline 0800 779 997 (8 am – 10 pm, 7 days a week).

© Scoop Media

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