What's the Healthy Relationships Program all about?

09 February 2024

Mates4Mates skills-based group programs are designed by our clinicians to help support veterans and their families now and into the future.

The Mates4Mates Healthy Relationships Program, running in May 2024, is an online introductory psycho-educational program which has been developed by a Mates4Mates social worker to raise awareness and explore the various elements and behaviours within relationships. 

Delivered over four sessions, this group program explores and encourages discussion around the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships and how to identify and recognise elements of unhealthy or abusive relationships. The program also considers available supports as well as providing tools and strategies to assist with maintaining and improving relationships if it is safe to do so. 

Healthy vs unhealthy relationships

The main differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships involve issues relating to positive communication, respect, and shared values and goals. In unhealthy relationships, there is often a lack of these elements; further, in an abusive relationship, there may be psychological, emotional or physical safety concerns for one party, often stemming from a power imbalance that can result in the control and subsequent abuse of that person. 

Relationships may suffer due to the impact of life events such as transitioning out of the military, children growing older or leaving home, or new work arrangements. It can be hard to keep up with the changes as life gets busy, and if time and effort isn’t spent on relationships then they have the potential to become challenging or even unhealthy. 

How the program can benefit veterans and their families 

For veterans and their families, relationships can often be negatively impacted or strained by the unique nature of military life. The Healthy Relationships Program has been created to directly benefit the emotional and psychological growth of veterans and family members, offering new learning to both those who feel they may need help in these situations and those who simply wish to learn more about the topic. 

This program offers participants the chance to explore, reflect and understand their relationship within a continuum of healthy and unhealthy relationships in a safe and non-judgemental space.  

Veterans will learn strategies and techniques that will enable them to improve their relationships and, most importantly, give them new understandings to help make informed decisions for their health and wellbeing. 

Support at Mates4Mates

Many people are able to recognise issues within their relationships, however, they may be unsure about how to address these challenges. The Mates4Mates Healthy Relationships Program gives veterans and their families the opportunity to explore and further understand their situation as well as providing strategies and skills to assist them to improve their relationships.  

The Healthy Relationships Program may also provide a starting point for veterans to seek further support from a counsellor or social worker who can offer individual or couples’ counselling sessions to assist in improving their relationships. 

The Mates4Mates Healthy Relationships Program will run online in May 2024, with expressions of interest opening in mid-March. 

If you’re a veteran or family member and want to find out more about the Healthy Relationships Program or how Mates4Mates can support you, reach out to us on 1300 4 MATES (62 837) for a confidential chat. 

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