Navigating Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Week, which takes place in May each year, is particularly salient during lockdown. To help with managing low mood and depression during the COVID-19 crisis, Reading has launched a new online course.

During lockdown, it is important – now more than ever – to look after yourself and practice good mental wellbeing in these unprecedented times. In support of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May), experts from Reading’s Anxiety and Depression in Young People (AnDY) Research Clinic, in partnership with FutureLearn, have developed a two week online course offering support to young people, parents and supporters. The course aims to provide practical help and expert understanding about young people who may be experiencing low mood and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What’s involved?

Reaching out to communities around the world, the course provides guidance on:

  • Structuring the day and promoting healthy habits
  • Positive family communication and getting along
  • Self-care and the importance of modelling behaviour
  • Managing your thoughts and feelings
  • Using the time as a chance to develop resilience

Run by Dr Monika Parkinson, Dr Faith Orchard and Dr Michelle Lee from Reading’s School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, the course offers practical techniques on maintaining mental wellbeing during the lockdown period and beyond. Dr Orchard said:

“We are all having to adapt to a different way of living, but we know that some young people are particularly vulnerable to some of the negative thoughts and feelings associated with these challenging times.

“This course is aimed not only at young people, and their parents and supporters, to have a better understanding of their feelings and their mood, but will also be beneficial for anyone with an interest in the topic.”

 Dr Parkinson also added:

“Positive peer and family relationships as well as valued activities are an important part of young people’s wellbeing, and the current situation may be putting a strain on all of these areas.

“This course will provide evidence-based information, practical advice and tips on how young people can cope with low mood and depression, and find opportunities to build new coping skills and resilience.”

Find out more about all the online courses open to alumni and supporters.