Healthy and supportive relationships are a vital component to well being. In fact, they are as vital as other well-reported lifestyle factors, such as eating well, exercising more and stopping smoking.
Unfortunately, people who suffer from mental ill-health can also find they lose relationships or become more isolated as a direct result of their illness. If a person is fortunate to have a supportive family to turn to in times of crisis, this can greatly improve long-lasting recovery.
More and more people who have suffered with mental ill-health state that family and friends were crucial to their recovery, and just having someone who understood what they were going through made life that bit easier.
At Bridge, our support workers work tirelessly to build relationships with our clients and help them to improve their relationships within the community. At our Recovery College Greenwich, students find educational development, purpose, as well as meeting other people working on improving their wellbeing, all integral to their ongoing recovery.
The good news is that knowing that healthy and supportive relationships can greatly improve recovery, gives a person something to build upon. There are many ways of building up healthy and supportive relationships. Contacting a friend you haven’t spoken to for a while, reaching out to a colleague, volunteering within the community, or joining a support group, are all ways to build relationships.
For young people growing up, relationships are crucial to development. Sadly, issues like bullying and social media and exam pressure exist and dealing with the modern world has created a dramatic increase in mental health issues amongst many young people and an unavoidably negative impact on their relationships. But if a young person is armed with the facts about how to build healthy and supportive relationships through education and family support, they can make better choices as to the people with which they choose to surround themselves.
However, it’s not just those with a mental health condition to whom relationships are vital, we are all social animals who need and depend on each other and the relationships we build have a direct impact on our wellbeing.
This Mental Health Awareness Week, let’s all pause and reflect on the importance of our relationships in our lives. Relationships directly impact on our wellbeing and improve our lives. Just taking the time to let someone know you care, connecting and developing those special relationships can make all the difference.