5 Summary of the course and learning outcomes
In Session 3, the final session of this course, you have heard from David and Michael and from other Open University students in the Time to Think archive about ways of using ideas and education to find peace of mind and to expand your horizons beyond the limitations of your confinement. You have considered strategies and tools for structuring your time and for developing new skills. You have also reflected on your resources, abilities and strengths and how they can help you cope in this pandemic.
By completing this course, you have:
- developed existing and new skills for coping with isolation and confinement today
- developed your skills for self-reflection and self-empowerment to use in a range of other contexts
- developed your understanding of the role education can play in surviving adversity
- gained new insights from the stories of those imprisoned as a result of the conflict in and about Northern Ireland.
If you wish to explore some of the ideas and resource mentioned in the course, take a look at the Further resources section.
Protecting your mental health and wellbeing
Many of us will experience slight increases in anxiety in situations like the COVID-19 pandemic, or we may feel that mood is a bit lower than usual. Both may be considered to be normal reactions to the dramatic change in circumstances, brought about by COVID-19 and the lockdown. However, if you experience a significant increase in your levels of anxiety, or if you notice that your mood feels much lower than usual, you should take action to safeguard your mental health. Consider these points of contact:
- Your GP. Most GPs are currently offering telephone or online appointments, so you can talk to your GP without going to the surgery. They can provide information about possible medication and about counselling.
- A counsellor. Many counselling agencies and private practitioners are currently offering online and telephone support. You can use a Google search to help find counsellors in your area.
- A telephone helpline. If life feels like a struggle, or if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, it can be good to talk to someone and helplines can offer valuable support.