Read the latest report from the Mental Health Foundation which sets out further evidence that investing in relationships is at least as important to our health and wellbeing as not smoking. Their argument, like that of Relational Schools, is that  both as a society and as individuals we need urgently to prioritise relationships and tackle the barriers to forming them.

The relationships we develop and form during childhood help us learn how to positively relate to others. In childhood, this is often our family members and relatives; however, in adolescence, this focus changes to our peers and friends. These relationships have been found to be significant predictors of mental health and wellbeing throughout life. In the 2013 ‘Predicting Well-Being’ report by the National Centre for Social Research, it was found that children and young people who have good personal and social relationships with family and friends have higher levels of wellbeing. Having good relationships throughout childhood and adolescence has also been found to protect against the effects of adversity by improving resilience.

Mental Health Foundation (May 2016) Relationships in the 21st Century. London: Mental Health Foundation Prepared by: Jenny Edwards, Isabella Goldie, Iris Elliott, Josefien Breedvelt, Lauren Chakkalackal and Una Foye.

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