Ruby Wax announced as new president of Relate

24% of Relate’s clients say that mental health is an issue in their relationship

Outspoken comedian and campaigner Ruby Wax has become president of the UK’s leading relationship support charity, Relate. The comedian, author and long-time mental health campaigner takes up the two-year role with immediate effect.

Chris Sherwood, Chief Executive of Relate, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that Ruby is Relate’s new president. We approached her because of her extraordinary passion for getting people talking about their problems and removing the stigma associated with mental health issues.

Together, we’re planning to raise awareness of the importance of relationships for each and every one of us – whether that’s with our partner, family, friends or wider community. Poor quality relationships harm our physical and mental health and wellbeing, so it makes sense that high quality relationship support – like Relate’s services – can change many lives. Ruby’s voice will be crucial in helping us to tackle the stigma and barriers attached to accessing counselling and other vital services.”

Ruby said: “With 24% of Relate’s clients saying that mental health is an issue in their relationship, it was immediately clear that there’s a very strong link between their work and mine. Whether in our personal relationships, our relationships at work or our relationships with ourselves we all need unconditional, non-judgemental support at various stages of our lives and I am delighted to team up with Relate in the role of President as the charity does an incredible job of helping people at times of personal difficulty. It is a cause which sits at the heart of all of my work, whether my books, my shows or Frazzled Cafe - the peer support charity I founded this year that runs meetings where people finding the stresses and strains of life hard to handle can connect in a safe and non-judgemental environment - where it’s ok to not be ok. I have heard first-hand at Frazzled Cafe meetings just how helpful professional relationship support like that provided by Relate can be.”

Relate provides support for people of all ages at all stages of relationships. Its non-judgmental services helped more than 1.85 million couples, families, children, young people and friends last year, of all backgrounds and sexual orientations. With nearly three million people in the UK living in a distressed relationship, its counselling, therapy, mediation and education services have never been more vital.

Ruby Wax is a successful comedian, TV writer and performer of over 25 years. She additionally holds a Master’s degree in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy from Oxford University, and was awarded an OBE in 2015 for her services to mental health. She is the author of the number one bestselling books Sane New World and A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled, and has toured all over the world with the accompanying one-woman shows.

In March 2017 Ruby launched Frazzled Cafe, a registered charity supported by Marks & Spencer where people who are feeling frazzled can meet fortnightly in select M&S cafes across the UK, to talk and share their personal stories in a safe, anonymous and non-judgmental environment. Frazzled Cafe meetings are designed to help anyone finding the stresses and strains of life hard to handle. They are facilitated by trained volunteers and are designed to offer emotional support among peers as opposed to therapy.

Ruby’s new book, How to Be Human: The Manual is published by Penguin Life on January 25 2018

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For all media enquiries contact Sarah Osmik at Relate: sarah.osmik@relate.org.uk / 020 7554 2895, or Fiona McMorrough at FMcM Associates: fionam@fmcm.co.uk/0207 405 7422.