As we emerge from a pandemic, having spent the last couple of years working and meeting online, perhaps it’s natural that we’ve acquired a newfound appreciation for technology. We’ve enjoyed reduced travel costs thanks to online meetings and more time to spend with family and friends as we improve the balance between home and work life. So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the idea of accessing healthcare online has taken off in a big way.
Which has given Blueheart a great opportunity to shout about the importance of sex and relationship therapy to health in general. And to break down the barriers around access for everyone.
In our minds, one of the most important parts of our role here at Blueheart is to help people to understand the importance of recognizing, establishing and maintaining healthy relationships. Because it can’t be overstated just how much what’s going on in our closest relationships – those with family and friends as well as our spouse or partner - can impact on our mental health.
And you don’t need to take our word for it. There has been a huge amount of analysis and research in this area into joyful lives over the last decade or so.
Two researchers from the University of Texas at Austin (Umberson and Karas Montez, 2010) wrote an article discussing previous research on social relationship health as a ‘flashpoint for health policy’. They found numerous studies indicating that poor quality social relationships can impact on mental and physical health as well as on the healthy habits and lifestyle choices we make. They also uncovered evidence that an unhappy marriage can be associated with many specific health risks such as a compromised immune system and endocrine function, heart disease, depression and general mortality risk.
These findings on the health benefits of a happy marriage were supported by Holt-Lunstad, Birmingham and Jones in their article ;Is There Something Unique about Marriage?', where they concluded, “Being happily married or in a stable relationship impacts positively on mental health. Research has found that high marital quality is associated with lower stress and less depression.” They did go on to reveal, however, that “single people have better mental health outcomes than people who are unhappily married”.
And here's something we find particularly interesting: not only does a healthy relationship impact on mental health, it can affect males and females differently. “For females, relationship satisfaction is more likely to influence mental health. For males there is a potential ‘vicious circle’ between satisfaction with partners and mental health.” (Downward, Rasciute and Kumar, 2022)
Whether you found the research above interesting or not, the point stands. Positive relationships are vitally important for not just our mental wellbeing but for our physical health, too. That’s why we designed Blueheart to reach those people who need sex and relationship support but are unable or unsure about accessing face to face services.
Offering expert designed courses in an app and online is a great way to break down the barriers of location. Ie the cost and difficulties of travelling to therapy sessions on a weekly basis, as well as the time involved. Not only that, but Blueheart allows people who feel daunted at the idea of talking about sex, or opening up about their innermost feelings, to do so in the comfort of their home surroundings and in their own time.
It's a win-win situation and it really does work.
That’s why we jumped at the chance to put Blueheart out there for the benefit of a wider audience by partnering with Boots Health Hub. It allows us to open up the conversation about the ups and downs of relationships. Those issues and concerns that affect us all – money, children and other dependents, sexual health etc. We want to break down the taboos and offer solutions that are tailored to the issues individuals are facing. And we aim to provide accessible options that improve the day-to-day lives of our users.
All values that we feel very much align with those of Boots Health Hub.
Boots Health Hub puts the power back into their customers’ hands, helping them to care for a wide range of non-urgent health conditions online and on their own terms. From booking opticians appointments to online physiotherapy, monitoring diabetes to menopause advice, talking therapies to antenatal. Boots’ mission is to provide a ‘first port of call’ for access to health and expert support, advice and next steps to support both their customers' mental and physical health journey.
It’s all about making access to health and wellness services simpler, more convenient and more easily accessible for everyone. Something we couldn't wait to get on board with.
You can access Blueheart as well as all of Boots’ other services, exclusive offers, clinical services and partner services via Boots Health Hub at Boots.com