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Loneliness and loss to cast a long shadow this Christmas Health and Wellbeing

Loneliness and loss to cast a long shadow this Christmas


Victorians are being urged to look out for those community members for whom Christmas 2020 will be an immensely distressing and challenging time.

The Christmas and the New Year period is often a time of joy and celebration. But it’s also period of distress and hardship for many people—especially given the challenges of 2020.

VCOSS CEO Emma King said:

“It can be painful to watch people give gifts and attend family gatherings when you can’t do the same.”

“That’s why Christmas is often a lonely and difficult time for many Victorians.”

“Even in a normal year, Christmas exacerbates isolation and poverty. It drives a spike in family trauma and violence.”

“With COVID, many more people will be experiencing isolation, loneliness, loss and hardship this festive season.”

“Many people will be mourning lost ones or getting by without a job for the first time.

“People on JobSeeker will be bracing for a New Year cut in their support payment.”

Ms King said extra expenses around Christmas, and the lure of dangerous ‘buy now, pay later’ schemes can also make things worse.

She’s urging people to avoid putting big expenses on credit cards or using loan sharks, and to either reconsider discretionary spending, or ask about discounts or hardship payment plans, where possible.

“The last thing you want is a big Christmas debt haunting you in the new year.”

Ms King said: “If you need help, ask for it.”

Beyond Blue
1300 22 4636

National Debt Helpline
1800 007 007

National Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Helpline
1800 737 732 (1800 Respect)

131 114

VCOSS CEO Emma King is available for interview.

Media contact: 0418 127 153, media@vcoss.org.au.

Hi-resolution images of Ms King are available here.

Past VCOSS media releases are on our website.