Counsellors at Relate Nottinghamshire are preparing themselves for an anticipated 20 per cent increase in calls from couples, families and individuals this January, in line with annual trends.*
The charity says it hears from many couples and families in the New Year whose relationship issues have come to a head over the Christmas period. It reports that some couples seeking counselling are on the verge of separation but are looking to give their relationship one last shot. Others they say have already made the decision to break up but want support to help them separate in the least painful way possible.
This comes as Relate launches a new national report, Breaking Up is Hard to Do, which finds that divorcing and separating families are being let down by a complex support system which is hard to access and even more difficult to navigate. The result is families trapped in a cycle of conflict, leading to poor outcomes for children.
In response to the report’s findings, Relate is calling for an interactive online portal where people can access all the support they need before, during and after separation, as well as a national helpline. The report has been welcomed by the Department of Work and Pensions and the Ministry of Justice.
Alison Towner, Clinical Supervisor at Relate Nottinghamshire said:
“New Year is a time when many of us naturally assess how life is going and this can make people think about how their relationships are faring. The high number of calls Relate receives in January suggests that many people are considering what they want from their relationships at this time of year. It may also be affected by issues which have come to the surface over Christmas.
“Contacting Relate is a positive step – we can help people in all sorts of situations to work out what’s next for their relationships. However, as Relate’s new report finds, the wider support system for separating families, which includes services such as solicitors, Citizens Advice, mediation and counselling, is often difficult to access and complex to navigate. We are therefore calling for a more joined up system with a single online point of access to all relationship support, as well as a national helpline. This will help to ensure that children and families are put first when it comes to divorce and separation.”
Relate Nottinghamshire offers information, advice and counselling for all stages of your relationships, including family counselling which can include support for families and parenting. Call us on 0115 9584278 or visit www.relate-nottingham.org.uk for more information.