Relationships Week Launches

Relationships Week Launches

New survey highlights strong relationships key to wellbeing in Northern Ireland

A UK wide survey[i] has revealed that almost 60% of people in Northern Ireland believe that relationships with loved ones are what has got them through the health crisis[ii].

The survey, by leading UK relationship charity Relate shows across couple, family and social relationships, people have had a range of ‘relationship realisations’ – many positive and some more challenging.

The parent relationship proved to be key with over half of respondents expressing that they feel closer to their parents than before.

The survey also highlighted:

31% of respondents in Northern Ireland who have a partner believe money will be the biggest issue for their relationship as a result of lockdown.
54% of respondents in Northern Ireland have enjoyed not having the pressure to socialise.
4% of the Northern Ireland respondents who have a partner indicated they wanted to end their relationship compared to 18% of respondents in Greater London who have a partner.

Relate conducted the Covid-19 Relationship Survey across the UK in June with over 2,000 people participating. In Northern Ireland, 102 responses were received.

The survey results have been released to coincide with the launch of the first-ever National Relationships Week, beginning today. The charity is hoping to start conversations on relationships, about how they have helped people during the Covid-19 period, or to discuss issues that may have been pushed aside during the pandemic.

Chief Executive of Relate Northern Ireland, Duane Farrell said:

“Relationships are central to our health and wellbeing. The survey findings highlight the crucial role that all types of relationships have had during the lockdown period, from parents to partners and friends. In so many cases we can see that relationships are what have gotten us through the lockdown.

“Without a doubt, Covid-19 has been the biggest test to relationships in recent history. Many families and friendships were put under new pressures, but the bonds were also vital for many to get through this life-altering pandemic.

“We are also encouraged to see that many couple-relationships have been strengthened during lockdown. This has been a testing time for many couples, with lots of them working from home and often with insufficient space, creating the possibility of new challenges and expectations between partners. With over 50% of people saying they do not believe their relationship will change post-lockdown, it shows that many in Northern Ireland have bolstered their relationships during the health crisis.

“As we move into the next phase of the pandemic, now is the time to focus on new strengths many have built into their relationships and the benefits of opening up to loved ones to strengthen bonds further. This is why we are launching the inaugural Relationships Week. It will encourage those across Northern Ireland to celebrate the best of their lockdown relationship realisations and address the more difficult ones.

“Relate is encouraging everyone to start a conversation about their relationships this week, whether it’s to thank someone for their support during lockdown or to begin addressing issues that have been swept under the carpet in recent months. Nominating your #RelationshipRocks on social media is a great way of recognising the people who have supported you through lockdown and also to get people talking about their relationships ”

In Northern Ireland, Relate have recently partnered with 15 other mental health charities, the Public Health Agency and the Departments for Communities and Health to deliver the Covid Wellbeing NI hub, an online resource with tools to help cope with the impact of Covid-19 on mental health and wellbeing. To find out more or for advice on maintaining good relationships visit:

[i] The research was conducted online from 26 June- 3 July 2020 by Censuswide, with a sample of 2,058 adults (aged 16+), 102 of which were in Northern Ireland. The sample was weighted to be nationally representative.

[ii] 58% respondents in Northern Ireland somewhat or strongly agreed with the statement: ‘My relationships with loved ones has helped me get through lockdown’

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“How Relate NI helps people”

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

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