Relationship advice for young people

Healthy relationships for young people

Relationships of all types are important for young people’s emotional and physical wellbeing.

Childline’s pages on friends, relationships and sex provide helpful information and advice on topics such as: friendships, peer pressure, being assertive, starting intimate relationships, breaking up and a section on “what to do if…?”

The Family Lives website has some useful content for parents of teenagers.

If you are looking for video content to watch with your child, Amaze also have a useful range of content.

But, it is not always easy to know when a relationships is healthy or unhealthy.  The American website Love is Respect has a range of helpful tips and practical ideas for recognising and building healthy relationships.  This includes some helpful content on recognising early signs of abuse in relationships.

Relationships should be: fun, enjoyable, equal, supportive, free from pressure or violence and safe.  Brook, a national wellbeing and sexual health charity, have an excellent relationships section on their website based on findings from a two year Open University research study called Enduring Love.  If you want help separating fact from fiction, they have a helpful section on common relationship myths.

However, sometimes people do not enjoy or feel safe in their relationships.  They feel under pressure to do things they do not want to do or make decisions they do not want to make. These relationships can be unhealthy.  The government’s Disrespect Nobody campaign offers a range of advice, information and signposting to organisations that provide support.

If you are in a relationship that is making you feel unhappy or unsafe it can be hard to know what to do or how to do it.  Brook have sections on their relationship pages that deal with breaking up and getting help if you are experiencing, or have experienced, an abusive relationship.

Childline also offer a broad range of advice on what to do if you are worried about your own or someone else’s relationship.  They also offer some helpful tips on handling relationship break-ups.

What to do if you are concerned about your own or someone else's relationship

If a relationship is not healthy, staying in the relationship could increase the risk of you experiencing emotional, psychological, physical or sexual abuse.

If you feel that you are in an unhealthy relationship, it is important to get advice about what to do.  It is also important to have someone to talk to about what is happening, this could be someone on the phone such as

Or it could be someone in person, like your school health nurse, learning mentor, youth worker, teacher or social worker.

What to do in an emergency

If you, or someone you know, are being threatened or are in danger, you should phone the Police (999) or ART (Access and Response team) straight away.  These are the people who will help to keep you safe.

What to do if you have experienced sexual assault or rape

If you have experienced sexual assault or rape there are people who can provide support, advice and a safe place to go.

Organisations such as SARSAS, The Bridge and the NSPCC have telephone helplines that you can ring confidentially.

These organisations are very experienced at working with young people and will be able to provide support.

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