This is an action research project as part of the Williamson Community Leadership Program 2018

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The team have been researching social isolation, having discussions with experts and testing the #5up5down idea

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Robert Eres, Swinburne University

Updated: Oct 11, 2018

Niloo met with Robert Eres to discuss his work on loneliness and impacts on long term health. Some of his research can be found here https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3644680/


Robert’s work involves understanding the relationship between loneliness and physical

health. He is of the view that conditions such as asthma, could be related to chronic

conditions of social isolation.

There is a need to connect at a deeper level where people share a common

interest or a cause. If not, even though part of a group, people will still feel lonely if

they are not able to connect with each other.

There tends to be a stigma around loneliness as most do not want to acknowledge

that they are ‘lonely’. Similar to creating awareness around other mental/physical

health conditions, we must make the community aware of how to recognise the

those suffering from social isolation, use simple programs and messages.

During a crisis situation, a community spirit is displayed, because of our ability to

empathise with those in a vulnerable state. By being more conscious of those

around us and those socially isolated, we will naturally be able to empathise with

the situations and provide support.


Dr Eres is a post-doctoral research fellow within the Social Health and Well-Being Laboratory. His current research interests involve understanding the role of emotion regulation in chronic mental ill health populations, as well as the influence of loneliness on physical and mental health indicators. 

Dr Eres is now assisting Dr Michelle Lim in the Social Health and Well-Being Laboratory on projects aimed at reducing loneliness in young people with first episode psychosis.

More information about Dr Robert Eres and his research interests can be found at https://shawlaboratory.org

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