As a personal development enthusiast, there should be no surprise that I am writing this article for Technology for Good (T4G) about the recent Covid-19 craze of online learning. With technology at our fingertips, it is now so easy and accessible to find the right online course which is both affordable and flexible. The saying rings true of ‘all you need is WiFi and a dream.’
Unsurprisingly, it was been reported on multiple news outlets that since lockdown began on 23rd March 2020 the demand for online courses has grown rapidly and continue to do so.
Coursera reported that in a single weekend, there was 500,000 new enrolments to their Science of wellbeing course and as you may have seen, businesses are pivoting their online services by introducing both free and paid for downloadable material and courses. Even, social media platforms like Instagram, have become a hub of knowledge, with coaches, healthcare professionals and those who are just in the know, sharing their how-to tips across multiple subject areas.
There are so many benefits to undertaking an online course as well as utilising online content and tools. You can up-skill, gain-a-skill and re-skill across multiple platforms that can help transform your career or become qualified in a new area, to start a new direction. Learning a new skill or gaining a qualification is both admirable, empowering and exciting.
I think it is fair to say, that the world (wide web) is your oyster.
One of our priorities at Technology for Good is to enable technology that can Support Wellbeing.
Support Wellbeing is about ensuring good mental health and wellbeing needs are a priority for people with neurological conditions. The effects of poor mental health can be devastating and we are all aware of the challenges when it comes to finding the best solution.
Technology that can help wellbeing is a real technological growth area from fitness trackers to online communities -Technology can play a huge part in keeping people who suffer from poor mental health, safe and well.
Have you ever thought about the types of courses you could do, to gain a better understanding of Mental Health or how you could manage your mental wellbeing in a healthier way? In this article, I have explored and found a number of online courses and content covering how you can educate yourself, help others and even support yourself.
How aware are you?
How aware are you of mental health issues in your community? What about with your Colleagues?
By undertaking a Mental Health Awareness course, it will aid and arm you with tools as well as a mindful method to identify common mental health issues such as anxiety, stress, panic attacks and eating disorders that might be affecting your peers. The course will help you understand and enable you to put in place the most appropriate action to help and empower an individual struggling with their mental health. A course like this is typically aimed towards corporate team players or HR personnel, however don’t let that deter you.
The charity Mind offers eLearning courses that are designed to help employers to raise awareness, help their colleagues and support managers to create a healthier workplace. This is a licensed based product and can integrate with your corporate Learning Management Systems. Find out more here: Mind eLearning Page
You will also see that Mind offers FREE e-learning for individuals and small business focused on three modules: Building your awareness, Looking after yourself and Supporting each other. If this sounds right for you, can find out more on the Mental Health for Small Workplaces.
The HSQE (Health Safety Quality Environment) run a Mental Health Awareness online training course which is approved by CPD Certification Service (which is good because it is an assurance to the quality of the product). The course for 1 person is prices at £15 + VAT. The course covers importance of Mental Health, What it is, Common problems, Legislation and Support for both you and other. At the end of the course you required to sit a small assessment, which is multiple choice and you need at least 70% to pass. Visit the HSQE page, to find out more. OpenLearn is a service owned and powered by Open University. This platform offers free online courses on an array of fascinating subjects, including mental health topics. From Exercise and Mental Health, Minds and Mental Phenomena as well as Work and Mental Health – OpenLearn offers interesting topics for all levels. You can browse the catalogue to find the find the best course for you.
Peace at last with mindfulness
Mindfulness has an abundant of benefits from decreasing levels of stress and anxiety to increasing focus and contentment. Mindfulness is the quality of being present and fully engaged with what you are doing. Like how we would train for a marathon, mindfulness is a practice that you need have a similar approach in the form of meditation.
Be Mindful offer a 4-week programme where you can “Explore how mindfulness can improve your mental wellbeing, review what you have learnt along the way and chart your progress with self-assessment tools. By the end of the course, you’ll be naturally practising mindfulness in your daily life, helping you to be present and not caught up in negative thoughts, to be more aware and respond more skillfully to events, and to reduce and maintain low levels of stress, depression and anxiety.” This course is £30 and offers a certificate after completing.
Udemy, an online learning platform, offers a catalogue of mindful courses including becoming a practitioner, mindfulness for specific mental wellbeing areas such as anxiety and sleep as well as understanding the basics. Explore the offerings by searching for your specific requirement in the search box. Prices range from £20 to £300.
Don’t forget you can also utilise apps such as Headspace, Calm and What’s Up. Check out the Apps to help with Anxiety article, for more information.
Learn new ways to manage your mental health
Coursea another popular online learning platform, offer a number of different courses.
Something that we may want to utilise is – Mind control: Managing your mental health during Covid- 19. This course focuses on anxiety related to COVID-19 – “The intent of this course is to give you a deeper understanding of the anxiety reaction as it relates to various aspects of our current life, ranging from our consumption of news to the way we talk to our children about this. I will also give you clear strategies for managing and, in fact, turning off the anxiety response at least for short periods. My sincere hope is that you will leave this course with a better understanding of how your brain reacts to crises, along with some powerful tools for managing it before it manages you.”
The NHS every mind matters platform offers a range of resources including a Mind Plan Quiz – five questions later, the tool gives you a plan to help you manage your mental wellbeing. Ok, so I know this isn’t a course, but it is a great, free online tool to get started with, if you are looking for ways to improve your own mental wellbeing.
The Mental Health Foundation, offer a self-management course which helps with goal setting and tackling your specific problems. Similar to the NHS every mind matters campaign, the Mental Health Foundation has a number of articles with advice on how to best manage wellbeing.
Online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a psycho-social intervention that aims to improve mental health. CBT focuses on challenging and changing unhelpful cognitive distortions and behaviours, improving emotional regulation, and the development of personal coping strategies that target solving current problems.
CBT although is a short-term therapy, typically 6 weeks, can also offer longer term solutions. The programme can be as part of a group, 1-2-1 or via a computerised portal.
You might be able to access CBT on the NHS:
When it comes to looking into CBT via the NHS the best ways are to contact your GP who may be able to give you information about local services, including third party support. You can also self-refer by getting in touch with Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT). This is an NHS programme available in England. However, IAPT is not available in all areas and the waiting lists can be long.Note: You can do CBT privately with private health organisations such as the priory group and bupa.
New skills that will empower
I have found that some courses are free and others can charge where they tend to offer qualifications upon completion. Be mindful on what offerings are available and ensure you enrol on known platforms to protect your digital privacy.
When dealing with poor mental health, you don’t need to struggle alone. Courses, although a great way to form a distraction, learn a new methodology and approach, I appreciate, it cannot be for everyone. Ensure you have the best practice in place for you whether that is calling a friend that you trust or going for walking around the block. If you are struggling here 3 links which could help support you on your Mental Health Journey.
Has this article inspired you? Or do you have a course you would like to recommend? Please do by commenting below.
This article was written by Lucy Grimwade, Ambassador for T4G.
Lucy Grimwade is a Career & Leadership Coach, working with ambitious women to build purposeful, progressive and positive careers. To find out more or to get in touch:
Connect on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lucygrimwade/
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Visit her website: www.lucygrimwade.com
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