‘Relationships Matter’ to our mental health

Date: 16 May 2016

Category: Campaign

One in every four people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year, whatever their gender, age, social background or ethnicity.

Mental Health problems can affect daily life, relationships or physical health and too often people are afraid to talk about their experiences because they fear it will affect their jobs or relationships. However without care and treatment, mental health problems can have a serious effect on an individual and those around them.

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (16-22 May) focusses on the importance of relationships and how good relationships are fundamental to our mental health and wellbeing. In fact, investing in your relationships is as important as healthy eating, exercising and not smoking.

The Mental Health Foundation is asking everyone to go the extra mile in prioritising their relationships, calling on people to make a relationship resolution: to assess how much time we actively commit to building and maintaining good relationships.

"Mental Health problems affect people, from all walks of life, and yet there is a stigma attached that prevents people from talking about it. The people in our lives – from family and friends, to colleagues and neighbours - are incredibly important to our wellbeing and help protect and sustain our mental health. Providing effective and responsive mental health services to meet the needs of the local population is a priority for Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group, and there are lots of local services available to help you. Don’t suffer in silence if you’re stressed and routinely feeling anxious, tense or depressed, especially if you find that these feelings interfere with sleeping, eating, relationships or work. Talk to your GP or, if you don’t have a doctor, NHS 111 can put you in touch with one and provide further information or advice."

- Dr David Soodeen, Bristol GP and clinical lead for mental health for Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group

Help and support

Advice and guidance is available on the Bristol CCG website including details for the 24/7 crisis services, so you can talk to a mental health expert whenever you need to.

Five top tips to look after your mental health:

  • Listen and be listened to – share how you are feeling, honestly, and allow yourself to be listened to and supported. Similarly, actively listen to what others are saying in a non-judgemental way.
  • Give your time – put time aside to nurture important relationships. We can be so busy with daily activities that we don’t spend time with the important people in our lives.
  • Be present – it can be tempting to check your phone, emails or social media when with family and friends. Try to be present in the moment and there for your loved ones.
  • Keep active, eat well and drink sensibly – breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it provides your body with the fuel to concentrate, think and helps regulate your appetite.
  • Nurture yourself – take a break once in a while, accept who you are and do something you’re good at to give yourself a boost.

Mental Health Foundation

Mental health help and support in Bristol