Understanding loneliness and its impact on health
Loneliness, or perceived social isolation, is the negative perception that one’s social connections are limited or lacking. Loneliness is traditionally conceptualized as a social and community issue, but a growing body of research over the last two decades in both social neuroscience and physical health has indicated serious implications on the brain, biology, and physical health. Specifically, chronic loneliness threatens our health and wellbeing. Dr Lim will outline the current scientific evidence on loneliness and it impact on health. She will discuss some of barriers of resolving loneliness as we move into the 21st century, and outline evidence and approaches that may be helpful.
Dr Michelle Lim is currently a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology Swinburne University of Technology. She is the head of the Social Health and Wellbeing Laboratory, which generates rigorous research related to loneliness. Dr Lim is also a registered Clinical Psychologist and is a full member of the Australian Psychological Society. She received her PhD at the University of Melbourne and postdoctoral training at the Anxiety and Psychotherapy Laboratory at Washington University in St Louis, USA. She obtained her Master of Clinical Psychology at RMIT University. Dr Lim is the chief scientific advisor for the Australian Coalition to End Loneliness, a national Australia network made up of 10 universities and 20 industry partners.