MHAW16 (Day 1): Relationships

It’s the start of Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) and the theme this year is: Relationships! From the 16th – 22nd May I will be discussing various issues on relationships to raise awareness around mental health and wellbeing and support the Mental Health Foundation in their annual campaign.

“When ‘I’ is replaced with ‘We’ even illness becomes wellness”- Malcolm X
Whether it’s with your friends, family, partners or acquaintances, relationships are such an important part of our lives but sometimes we can forget just how important they are. It’s clear that the Mental Health Foundation has chosen to focus on relationships this year, as it has a massive impact on our mental health. But pursuing, having and maintaining good relationships can also benefit us in many other aspects of our lives. It’s no secret that people with more social support are happier, healthier and live for longer.
Research shows that healthy relationships with the right people can help us to engage in healthier behaviours, such as getting enough exercise, eating right and drinking less. Although this may not always be the case (as in some of us have those friends who will persuade you that another takeaway can’t hurt and remind us why listening to the ‘just one more bottle’ line probably wasn’t the best idea), it’s certainly the case that relationships with those who always have your best interests at heart (well…mostly), will do all they can to achieve what’s best for you.
Although relationships can’t make us immune from experiencing the stresses of life, they can definitely help to alleviate some of this stress by sharing some of your emotional (or even physical) baggage. Healthy relationships can help our emotional wounds to heal faster by keeping us busy, offering support and making us a little more resilient to things that can bring us down.
Stress relief can also have an adverse effect on weight maintenance, how well we sleep, how our guts perform, how we regulate insulin, our immune systems and our susceptibility to heart disease.Finally, relationships can help us to get ahead in life. Through the right type of relationships, relationships help us to perform better academically and professionally. The right people in our lives can motivate us to work harder, do better and focus on the things that will give us the most satisfaction.
This week, I’ll be focusing in on some on the importance of certain types of relationships, how we can be better at them and revealing what the most important relationship we can have is. There are benefits relationships but there are also disadvantages, which is why relationships can be one of the most valuable yet destructive luxuries we have in life. So I’ll also be focusing on the ‘dark side’ of relationships.
So how can you support myself and many others, to raise awareness about the important of relationships for mental health and wellbeing this week?
Learn more!
During the week, Mental Health Foundation will be sharing daily tips and offering their advice on how we can all improve our relationships. Simply text ‘TIPS’ to 70300 to join in on their daily relationship challenge. (The texts are free to receive, but sending a text to them will be charged at your standard network rate).
You can donate to help support Mental Health Awareness online, give them a ring on 02078031121 or text THRIVE to 70300 to donate £3.
Get involved!
Click here to commit yourself to the cause by sharing your relationships resolution. Share your thoughts!If you have any experiences, suggestions or questions, click here to submit them and I will post and/or answer to them at the bottom of the next post (Anonymous submissions are welcome!).


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