Feeling lonely? Pauline Hanson is waiting for your call
ATTENTION the lonely and broken-hearted around Australia this New Year's Eve: One Nation leader Pauline Hanson is ready to personally take your call tonight.
From 6pm AEST, Lonely Hearts New Year's Eve will be broadcast on Senator Hanson's "Please Explain" Facebook page, where callers can talk about their lives and give feedback on the country and its leaders.
There will be 16 lines available to take thousands of calls, a psychologist on hand and a prerecording connecting people who need immediate help with professionals.
The hotline will be run out of One Nation offices.
Senator Hanson, a divorcee who has been in a long-term relationship for 10 years, repeatedly hears from pensioners, separated dads and mums missing their children that they are lonely and strapped for cash.
Senator Hanson said she wanted to use a talkback format to reach out to people who are struggling financially and emotionally and stuck at home tonight.
"I recognise people are doing it tougher than usual this year and the idea of celebrating New Year's Eve is an expense so many people can't afford,'' she said.
"The idea was put together by my staff and I to have a New Year's Eve with my 288,000 Facebook followers after reports revealed one in four Australians feel lonely.
"We've combined Facebook live with some new technology that allows us to take callers and have a fun night on one of the loneliest evenings on the calendar.
"I pitched the idea to my staff a few weeks ago, and those who weren't out of town instantly said 'yes' to helping, which has made the night possible.
"Who knows what to expect, it's live and it's never been done before so anything could eventuate."
The savvy politician is again tapping into an issue that is simmering in the electorate, voters - especially middle-aged men - feeling disconnected in a world that has never been more connected.
Earlier this year, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners revealed GPs were treating an increasing number of cases of extreme loneliness.
Doctors have dubbed loneliness Australia's new public health crisis, labelling it a crippling epidemic that needs a federal minister for loneliness.
The annual Jean Hailes Women's Health Survey launched by Health Minister Greg Hunt in October revealed women aged 18-35 were the loneliest of all age groups - almost 40 per cent reported feelings of loneliness every week.