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Nick Thomas-Symonds has attended Torfaen Mind’s Wellbeing Centre relaunch to announce his support for Mental Health Awareness Week after learning that nearly half of UK adults regret not investing more time with those they care about.
Now in its 16th year, Mental Health Awareness Week (16-22 May 2016) focuses on the theme ‘Relationships in the 21st Century’ – the forgotten foundation of good mental health. A new survey of over 2,000 UK adults commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation and conducted by YouGov has found that nearly half of UK adults regret not investing more time in the relationships that matter to them, with men more likely to feel regret than women.
Despite relationships appearing to be held in high esteem, we’re over three times more likely to have made a resolution to improve our physical health than our relationships with friends and family. 40% of UK adults have made a New Year’s resolution to improve their physical health and yet only 11% have made a New Year’s resolution to improve their relationships with friends and family.
The Mental Health Foundation commissioned the survey after conducting an extensive review of global evidence which overwhelmingly pointed to good-quality relationships being key in helping us to live longer and happier lives with fewer mental health problems. The Foundation points out that the influence of social relationships on health and wellbeing is comparable to well-established risk factors for mortality such as smoking.
Mr Thomas-Symonds said,
‘It was a pleasure to meet the fantastic volunteers at Torfaen Mind’s Wellbeing Centre and to see the life-changing work they do with local people. They are encouraging people to invest time creating relationships with those around them and these new findings from the Mental Health Foundation show just how important that can be.’
Jenny Edwards CBE, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation said:
“It’s time to recognise the global body of evidence which tells us that people who are more socially connected to family, friends, or their community are happier, physically healthier and live longer with fewer mental health problems.
“It’s striking that the influence of social relationships on the risk of death is comparable with well-established risk factors. We need to give ourselves permission to spend more of our time in the friendships and relationships that are core to our wellbeing.”