Australia

Three million Australians will 'need help at Xmas'

More than one in seven Australians are likely to contact a charity for help with food, power bills and other basics over Christmas, new data suggests.

One in seven Australians are expected to seek a charity's help for food, bills and other basics over the festive period, new data suggests.

The results of a Salvation Army-commissioned survey, released on Friday, also found close to a third of the country spends more than they can afford over Christmas.

But even so, when asked about the previous year's celebrations, millions don't remember it fondly.

"We see hardship at The Salvation Army on a daily basis, but these results are surprising and suggest the real picture of poverty in Australia is worse than previously thought," spokesman Bruce Harmer said in a statement.

The Roy Morgan research polled 1042 adults in December.

It suggests more than three million people will contact a charity for help with basic necessities such as food, power or other bills.

When asked to reflect on their past Christmas experience, one in four adults mentioned anxiety and one in seven mentioned depression.

One in four adults mentioned anxiety and one in seven mentioned depression.
One in four adults mentioned anxiety and one in seven mentioned depression.
AAP

Some 10 per cent said they had felt socially isolated and one in 45 adults recalled a fear of being physically or emotionally abused.

About 70 per cent of respondents said spending time with family and friends was their favourite part of Christmas, however, Mr Harmer urged people not forget other people are alone at this time of year.

"Hardship and loneliness hits hardest during the Christmas period," he said.

"Across the country, there are literally millions of Australians needing support."

Mr Harmer said the Salvos will see an increased strain on services this Christmas - which is their busiest time of the year.

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