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:
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.« Relationships Week 2021 – Love Yourself International Youth Day 2021: Let’s talk young farmers & relationships »
Our counsellor was excellent and really helped me and my husband to resolve the niggles in our relationshipService Attended Adult Relationship Counselling for Couples
My counsellor was lovely, attentive and supportive. She helped me to understand my worth and for that, I will always be gratefulService Attended Adult Relationship Counselling for Individuals
This service is invaluable. Such lovely people to meet and help you through difficult times.Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling for Couples
The service was excellent, my counsellor was really good at getting us to open up and helping us to get to the root of our issues. We have definitely improved our communication since attending.Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling for Couples
I found the Relationship MOT an excellent method of focusing on how we work as a couple and just as importantly, where we need to work. It was professional, insightful and well worth the time. It has reminded us of how much we have to be proud of in our relationship and why it is so important to occasionally review it with experts.Service Attended Relationship MOT
I would definitely recommend using the Relationship MOT service as a bit of a check in with your partner. I thought how the counsellor was able to steer the conversation was very insightful and nuanced. The MOT reminded us about why we are great together but also the importance of communication and respect.” “Our counsellor provided an outside perspective which immediately helped us to agree that we needed to stop and think with more kindness and empathy for each other especially when stressed or pissed off. We both felt that our counsellor’s excellent and gentle facilitation was quite invigorating. So many positives!Service Attended Relationship MOT 2
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