Relationships Week 2021 – Where do we go from here?

Relationships Week 2021 – Where do we go from here?

So Relationships Week 2021 has come to an end and the opportunity for a societal conversation about the importance of healthy relationships is something which appears to have resonated with many people and organisations. While the opportunity is not necessarily a new one, it does appear that something about our last year of the Covid pandemic and associated government restrictions has brought to the forefront of our collective mind the importance of our personal relationships, family, social and workplace, into clear view in our minds.

 

The story of the impact of this last year in individuals, families and communities can be seen by looking at our new report which was launched by Relate & eHarmony during the Relationships Week; “The Way We Are Now 2021.” The story is one which will continue to be told by people, researchers and academics over the months and years to come. Practitioners in Relate NI have already highlighted how the last year has exacerbated existing difficulties in some families and created entirely new issues in others.

 

As much of our public debate focuses on the idea of ‘Build Back Better’, it is clear that healthy relationships must be a central driver of those discussions and the policies which emerge over the months and years to come with the potential for improved outcomes from issues as diverse as educational attainment; mental health and wellbeing through to criminal and family justice. It’s an easy thing to say, but what does that look like in practice? From the experience of Relate NI, action to improve healthy relationships as a cornerstones of our lives has to be based on 3 key pillars:

 

  • Promoting healthy relationships and increasing the capability of people to form and maintain healthy relationships – promoting a universal level understanding of the importance of healthy relationships
  • Preventing as far as possible people’s relationships from falling into difficulties, particularly during times of transition and providing access to early intervention approaches for people at those key transitions such as becoming parents; being made redundant; children’s transitions into and between primary and post primary education
  • Protecting people at times of crisis such as relationship breakdown or when their relationships are under most strain in order to better support people’s health and wellbeing through access to a spectrum of specialist services such as Relationship Counselling for couples; Family Therapy; Children and Young Person’s therapy.

 

Over recent months, some of the key areas through which this agenda can be delivered have been part of the public debate such as access to high quality and age appropriate Relationships and Sexuality Education through the core curriculum; the publication of a Fair Start from The Expert Panel on Educational Underachievement in Northern Ireland; and the launch of the Mental Health Strategy to name but a few.

 

Understanding and promoting the importance of healthy personal relationships as central to the thinking on how we build back better is a real ‘golden thread’ that offers a clear opportunity to improve important outcomes in a range of policy areas.

 

To stay in touch with Relate NI as we continue on the journey to build back better relationships, subscribe to our newsletter here.

To look back at all of the Relationships Week 2021 activities, visit the campaign page here.

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“How Relate NI helps people”

Very Interesting Content. I like the concept of preparing your relationship before you have problemsService Attended Sustaining Healthy Relationships – Surestart 4
The face to face programme has made me feel connected with others experiencing similar thingsService Attended Sustaining Healthy Relationships – Surestart 3
The workshops made me more confident to balance family life after the baby's arrivalService Attended Sustaining Healthy Relationships – Surestart 2
I now have a better understanding of myself, it is good to know that it is normal to have argumentsService Attended Sustaining Healthy Relationships – Surestart 1
I felt the weekly questionnaire, couples with the counsellor's understanding of my needs help contribute to my own understanding of my mental health and needs throughout.Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling for Individuals
I loved every session. Our counsellor listened to what we had to say and gave us helpful wee homework - would recommend this service to everybodyService Attended Adult Relationship Counselling for Couples
Our counsellor was a fantastic support - we now feel strong enough to continue working on our relationship togetherService Attended Adult Relationship Counselling for Couples
I had a very good counsellor that helped me through a lot and it has made me come out the other side.Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling for Individuals
Counselling took us from a bad place to a good one and I would return if neededService Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Couples
Been a lifeline to help us fall in love again - forever grateful!Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Couples
I would just like to say that when I first came for counselling I felt that I was drowning.  I have completed my sessions and I now feel that I can cope a lot better with everything.  Thank you for a brilliant service.Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Individuals
Thank you Relate NI for a good nights sleep.Service Attended Relate NI Kids Counselling
Really enjoyed Relate NI and I'm actually going to miss counselling.  I Found it helpful to find myself again. Very fair and equal within our relationship.Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Couples
I appreciated the straightforward, helpful and informed observations about situations. It really helped me cope during Christmas which is a difficult time for usService Attended Family Counselling
The counsellor was very pleasant to meet with.  They had the necessary skills to speak and listen when appropriate.  I liked their humour and good personality.Service Attended Family Counselling
Relate NI has helped me move on as well as understand myself and situation more.  My counsellor listened to me, facilitated me and was compassionate!Service Attended Relate NI Teen Counselling
I felt the weekly questionnaire, coupled with counsellor's understanding of my needs helped contribute to my own understanding of my mental health and needs throughoutService Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Individuals
We had four funded sessions and cannot express how grateful we are for the help, guidance and knowledge. Our counsellor was incredibly professional, and her experience and obvious passion for helping couples like us was exceptional. She helped us to understand ourselves and each other like we otherwise never would have been able to.Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Couples
I have tried counselling many times in the past. This time actually made a difference. I was able to complete online sessions as well as some face to face.Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Individuals

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