Submitted by BSAB on Fri, 13/05/2016 - 15:22

The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2016 is ‘relationships’.

Good mental health is characterised by a person’s ability to fulfil a number of key functions and activities, including:

  • the ability to learn
  • the ability to feel, express and manage a range of positive and negative emotions
  • the ability to form and maintain good relationships with others
  • the ability to cope with and manage change and uncertainty.

Good relationships help us live longer and happier lives with fewer mental health problems. These are the supportive connections we share with friends, family and our communities. Investing in these relationships is as important to our health and wellbeing as other lifestyle factors such as eating well, being more active and stopping smoking (Mental Health Foundation, 2016).

5 tips to help improve your relationships:

  • Be present – it can be tempting to check your phone, Facebook messages or even work emails when with family and friends. Try to be present in the moment and there for your loved ones.
  • Be listened to – share how you are feeling, honestly, and allow yourself to be listened to and supported.
  • Give your time – put time aside to nurture important relationships. We can be so busy with school or work that we don’t spend time with the important people in our lives.
  • Listen – actively listen to what others are saying in a non-judgemental way. Concentrate on their needs in that moment.