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Ground breaking online course on understanding anxiety and depression launched – University of Reading

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Ground breaking online course on understanding anxiety and depression launched

Release Date 06 May 2016


A free online course on anxiety, depression and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), believed to be the first of its kind, will be delivered by the Charlie Waller Institute at the University of Reading.

The Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC, - a term used to describe courses available on hundreds of topics from history and chemistry to music, is the first to offer online teaching about CBT, the leading evidence- based psychological treatment. It was designed and will be run by clinical experts at the University of Reading.

More than 17,000 people have already signed up to the five-week course, which is open to absolutely anyone. There is no upper limit on how many people can participate.

Launched on Monday May 9th, the MOOC is for anyone who is interested in learning more about two common mental health problems - anxiety and depression - and how they are treated using CBT. This includes people who have anxiety or depression and their friends and family, along with primary health care professionals who are in the frontline for detecting mental health difficulties.

Professor Shirley Reynolds, Director of the Charlie Waller Institute, said: "I'm really excited to have the opportunity to engage with people from all over the world to discuss depression and anxiety, and CBT, the leading evidence-based psychological treatment.

"It is important to stress that this is not online treatment. But if you are thinking of having CBT or have a friend or family member who is, we hope it will help you make a more informed decision and get the most out of treatment."

Hosted by FutureLearn, the course includes videos and interviews with therapists and people who have had therapy themselves. Students who enrol will study for up to three hours a week for five weeks.

Clare Stafford, Chief Executive of the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, which funds the Charlie Waller Institute, said: "CBT is a powerful tool but many people hesitate in taking the first step as it can feel quite a daunting prospect. This course will help to break down those barriers enabling more people facing anxiety and depression to develop the skills and understanding they need to embark on their recovery."

For more information or to sign up visit:


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