Supporting Healthy Relationships


All relationships in the lives of children and young people play an important role on their wellbeing and development. Schools help to support positive relationships between students and adults within the school as well as encouraging healthy development of peer relationships (Source). 

Ways to build healthy relationships with others 

Every mind matters discusses key ingredients to healthy relationships include respecting and supporting others, and having open and honest conversations.

Set boundaries

Think about what you feel able to help with. Try to stick with this – whether it's listening or offering practical help like doing the shopping.

Take time for ​​yourself

Find time to do something just for yourself. Try to focus on your own hobbies and interests.

Talk to someone you trust

Finding someone outside the relationship that you trust enough to confide in can really help.

Dealing with relationship conflicts

Disagreements are normal, but it can affect your mental wellbeing if an argument is not resolved. If it's difficult to talk through an issue calmly, take time out and talk again when everyone involved is feeling calmer.

Healthy communication 

Work on being an "active listener", which means repeating back to the person what they’ve said to you, or asking for more details if it’s not clear. This skill helps you to check your understanding of what someone has said to you. Regular check-ins help with managing challenges as they arise, rather than letting them build up.   

The NSPCC has also developed a helpful resource which helps schools when promoting healthy relationships across all key stages from early years to post 16 and has a section on working with children and young people with special educational needs, additional needs and disabilities. 

There are also many online resources and videos such as this from the NSPCC to help parents to discuss healthy relationships specifically with teens.


Dr Paula Muir Senior Educational Psychologist at Catalyst has developed an intervention for primary and secondary aged children to support the development of heathy relationships. This intervention was developed from research conducted across KS1,KS2, KS3 and KS4 and used the views and experiences of young people and relevant research to inform the development at each stage.

Click here to read the full chapter on research and development. 

The intervention includes a pre- and post- intervention questionnaire that is relevant to young people today and the sessions support children in setting and maintaining boundaries, teaches them how to communicate effectively and appropriately with others, and uses activities, games and discussions to teach practical problem-solving strategies.

Updated 22/02/2024