This year's Mental Health Awareness Week (14-20 May) focuses on stress. Studies have shown that two-thirds of us will experience a mental health problem in our lifetimes, with stress being a major factor. Dig deeper into mental health problems, wellbeing and ways to alleviate stress with our FREE courses, interactives and articles written by our academic experts.
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A Support Net: Can you help someone in need?
All of us will experience personal challenges, but could you make a positive impact on someone's life? Try our wellbeing interactive 'A Support Net' to see if you can help four people.Take part now ❯A Support Net: Can you help someone in need?
Over the past century there has been a radical shift in responses to people who experience mental health problems. In this free course, Making sense of mental health problems, you will learn about how key perspectives in the field have made sense of mental health problems. By directly relating key perspectives to a case study, you will reflect on how the medical perspective, psychological perspective and social need perspective come to make sense of mental ill-health.Learn more ❯Making sense of mental health problems
This free course, Understanding depression and anxiety, explores the causes of these mental health issues, with a particular focus on stress. You will consider some risk and causal factors for some depression and anxiety disorders, and learn about the biology and psychology behind them.Learn more ❯Understanding depression and anxiety
How do we recognise if a reaction to a stressor has developed into a mental health problem? Here's a five point guide...Read now ❯Do I have mental health problems and should I get some help?
In this free course, Emotions and emotional disorders, you will learn about some of the disorders related to the feelings of stress, sadness and anxiety including how these disorders are diagnosed, their biological correlates, and evidence of their possible causes.Learn more ❯Emotions and emotional disorders
Although being at work during periods of mental illness can be difficult for those with mental health problems, most people with these difficulties could take paid employment if it were not for numerous barriers in the workplace and the wider community (Centre for Mental Health, 2013). In this free course, Work and mental health, you will look at some of the ways in which employment affects mental health and what can be done to support people in finding and keeping work.Learn more ❯Work and mental health
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What can I do about my mental health when I don’t have the support I need?
What can you do if you're not comfortable talking about mental health issues with your peers? Dr Jonathan Leach and Dr Mathijs Lucassen set out six ways of getting the support you need.Read now ❯What can I do about my mental health when I don’t have the support I need?
Each year thousands of pounds are spent on medications to treat conditions such as anxiety and depression. These medications often have negative side effects. Exercise is an alternative treatment that is low cost and has few side effects. In this free course, Exercise and mental health, we will look at the links between exercise and improved mental health and psychological well-being. This will include consideration of the role of exercise in combating stress, anxiety and depression, and in enhancing mood.Learn more ❯Exercise and mental health
Mindfulness is about focusing on the present moment, whilst at the same time accepting your feelings, thoughts, and body’s sensations. But why does mindfulness matter?Read now ❯Five reasons why you should care about mindfulness
This free course, Mindfulness in mental health and prison settings, introduces the key ideas and practices of mindfulness, describes how it is helping counselling clients and prisoners, and also looks at some of the criticisms mindfulness has received in recent years.Learn more ❯Mindfulness in mental health and prison settings
Can being outside gardening improve our wellbeing? Discover three factors that account for the positive effects of 'green care'.Read now ❯Green care: contact with nature can improve mental health
Take a new and different look at mental health. This free course, Challenging ideas in mental health, invites you to think differently about life's dilemmas by taking account of the views of all concerned, especially people experiencing mental distress. It explores ideas and practice in mental health, and will appeal to a wide range of people.Learn more ❯Challenging ideas in mental health
The Open University under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license
Journeying through Wellbeing
Take a journey through Wellbeing and see how factors such as where we grow up, what happens to us, and our physical health, can all impact on our mental health and wellbeing.Take part now ❯Journeying through Wellbeing
It is time for medical education to take nutrition seriously argues Dr Joyce Cavaye, Senior Lecturer in the School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care at The Open University.Read now ❯Nutritional psychiatry is the future of mental health treatment
What are are they key factors to successful therapy? This series looks at three elements important to producing a positive outcome. Firstly, the therapist and client need to have a good relationship. Secondly, the therapist needs need to be able to give the client their full attention. Finally the therapist needs to look beyond the individual to the social systems around them, such as family and work, which might be where the client's emotional problems come from.Watch now ❯Key Ideas in Therapy
It's well-documented that loneliness can cause depression and have negative effects on health and lifespans, equal to that of smoking. Explore why friends are good for your wellbeing, then invite them round for a catch up - it's important!Read now ❯Why friendships are vital to your wellbeing
In this free course, Public health and mental health promotion, you will examine public health from a mental health perspective, beginning with an exploration of the relationship between public health and mental health. Mental health promotion is concerned with achieving positive mental health and quality of life.Learn more ❯Public health and mental health promotion
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How do you spot someone who might have depression?
People with experience of depression tell Trust Me, I'm A Doctor's Saleyha Ahsan about the signs of depression to watch out for.Watch now ❯How do you spot someone who might have depression?
Learn more about mental health with the OU
The BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing degree is a unique practice-based learning route for employers to grow staff into registered nurses. The degree programme is only available in partnership with employers who will pay the fees and will support the students in the workplace, and it addresses the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) requirements for entry to the nursing professional register. Students accepted onto the programme will study the essential concepts underpinning healthcare practice and will demonstrate achievement of the required competencies in practice-based contexts.Learn more ❯BSc (Honours) Mental Health Nursing
If you’re interested in the science behind our health – from what we can do as individuals to stay healthy, to global health issues such as epidemics and the spread of disease – the BSc (Honours) Health Sciences is for you. It’s particularly relevant if you work in health-related professions, or you’re thinking about doing so. You’ll study the essential scientific concepts underpinning the function of the human mind and body; the incidence, diagnosis and treatment of disease and disability; and the maintenance and improvement of health in different populations. You’ll also acquire a wide range of transferable skills and develop your ability to analyse and understand health and disease from a multidisciplinary, evidence-based perspective. Topics include human biology; long term conditions; infectious disease; cellular and analytical biology; neurobiology; cognitive psychology; and mental health. By the end of this degree course, you’ll be well placed to develop a rewarding career in a wide variety of healthcare and other settings.Learn more ❯BSc (Honours) Health Sciences
Psychology pervades just about every aspect of our personal and professional lives. The frequent query, ‘What do you have in mind?’ quite literally captures much of what psychology – the science of human behaviour – is all about. Studying our BSc (Honours) Psychology degree course (accredited by the British Psychological Society) gives you a window into the workings of the mind – why we do the things we do and how we interact with others. On this fascinating journey you’ll gain knowledge and understanding of the different areas of psychology; develop valuable analytical and communication skills; and enhance your ability to work both independently and collaboratively, all of which will put you very much in the frame when it comes to employment opportunities. You’ll also explore how psychologists use evidence derived from research to contribute to debates on matters such as ageing, crime, education, employment, forensic science, mental health, relationships and much more.Learn more ❯BSc (Honours) Psychology
What causes mental distress and what can be done about it? How is health and social care support, which is increasingly delivered at local level, affected by lay and professional perceptions of mental health and illness? This module examines how aspects of the external environment ? in particular social, environmental, economic and political factors ? shape and constrain our understandings and experiences of mental health and distress. It explores the theories and concepts that underpin and challenge mental health practice and service provision and looks at the impact of the frequently competing perspectives that characterise the world of mental health.Learn more ❯Mental health and community
Over the past century there has been a radical shift in responses to people who experience mental health problems. In this module you will learn about how politics and concepts about mental health and professionalism have driven contemporary approaches to these issues. By directly relating theory to case studies and examples, you will reflect upon how the services that are offered shape the lives and experiences of individuals supported by a range of practitioners in statutory organisations, the third sector and beyond. ?You will also critique the role of psychiatry and other professional groups, and consider how diagnosis shapes mental health practice and the benefits and limitations of current responses.Learn more ❯Approaches to mental health
To what extent can we understand mental wellbeing and treat mental health conditions such as depression and dementia by focusing on the brain and its functioning? This module presents and challenges the medical model of mental health with its reliance on drug treatment, contrasting it with ideas in the field of health psychology. You will learn from case reports of those who have a mental health condition and those who care for them, as well as from relevant research studies. The module has an emphasis on understanding different approaches within psychology, as well as the nature of evidence for and against these approaches.If you are considering progressing toPreparing for graduate practice(KYN317), you must have normally completedPrinciples and skills for nursing practice(KYN237) andExploring perspectives on health and illness(KYN238), and either this module orHuman biology(SKYN277 or SK277).Learn more ❯The science of the mind: investigating mental health