Couple and family relationships are vital for adults’ health and wellbeing, as well as children’s long-term life chances. All relationships hit hard times at some stage and without support they can easily become distressed or break down with devastating consequences for everyone, particularly children.

At times of difficulty evidence shows relationship support can make a world of difference. However, relationship counselling is not generally commissioned as a public service or available on the NHS. Relate and some other charities offer sliding fee scales, and subsidised or free counselling where possible, but without sustainable funding their ability to expand provision is restricted.

Evidence suggests that low income families are likely to experience increased strains on their relationships because of financial pressures. Their financial vulnerability also means they are less able to afford relationship support.

Relate and BACP believe it is crucial that counselling is accessible to anyone who needs it, regardless of income, which is why we are launching our Invest in Relationships campaign.

Strategic partners

Relate and BACP have been working as strategic partners for almost two years. Together, we aim to improve quality standards in practice by aligning training and ensuring ongoing fitness to practise for all Relate and BACP practitioners. We are campaigning for all aspects of social justice, with the ultimate aim of making counselling and therapy available to everyone irrespective of their circumstances and ability to pay.