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Free online course supports young people during COVID-19

Young person at desk

Colleagues from the AnDY Research Clinic, Charlie Waller Institute and Online Courses team have  joined together to create a free online course to provide young people, parents and supporters with advice on how to manage low mood and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic.    

The course, COVID-19: Helping Young People Manage Low Mood and Depression,  launched on 4 May 2020 and is available on the social learning platform, FutureLearn. Topics covered include:

  • 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

Dr Monika Parkinson and Dr Faith Orchard from the AnDY Research Clinic and Dr Michelle Lee, from the Charlie Waller Institute in the School of Psychology, collaborated with Online Courses team members Anastasia Rattigan and Yen Tu, to create this free course. 

On the motivation behind the course, Dr Faith Orchard, Lecturer in Clinical Psychology, says: 

"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." 

Dr Monika Parkinson, Research Fellow and Clinical Psychologist says: 

"Positive peer and family relationships as well as valued activities are an important part of young people's well-being 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." 

On making the course a reality,  Nicky McGirr, Online Courses Programme Manager, says: 

"The Online Courses team, part of the TEL team in the Centre of Quality Support and Development, is proud to collaborate with our expert educators, and join fellow colleagues throughout the University in supporting our local community during these difficult times.  

This free, course provides the opportunity for learners with similar experiences to support and encourage each other. Reaching out to our local community and to others throughout the world via FutureLearn, we hope this course will help many young people, their families and supporters."

The course is available until September. Please help spread the word and share the course enrolment page with your colleagues, friends, families and local schools. 

From archaeology to robotics, discover our full range of free FutureLearn courses at our Free Online Courses page. All courses are open to everyone, so take a look and see what inspires you.

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