Wellbeing in Mind Programme

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Wellbeing in Mind Programme

24 October 2016

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We are playing a key role in a research project for the Department for Education looking into the effects of adult community learning on mental health.

Our community ‘Wellbeing in Mind’ programme is part of a research project scheme headed by the Department for Education to assess whether short college courses can alleviate mild to moderate mental health difficulties, and is being delivered right across the local area. People can sign up for courses on topics such as stress management and confidence building, as well as attend more typical courses such as pottery, art or gardening – all the time keeping a check on the effect the courses are having on their mental health.

The courses are available to anyone aged 19 or over who has been resident in the EU for the last three years. People can either self-refer or be referred for the courses by a mental health support service. Anyone with mild to moderate mental health difficulties is eligible – and encouraged – to sign up for a course over the next few months so that their progress can be monitored over a reasonable period of time.

The courses are designed to help people with symptoms including anxiety, stress, sleep problems, and prolonged low mood and the end goal is to improve their mental wellbeing. Tutors will be helping in a multitude of ways, for instance teaching coping strategies, how to relax and release tension, or how to raise self-esteem; even simply learning a new skill, such as art or cookery, alongside other people may help volunteers in their journey to good mental health. 

The courses are being funded by the Department for Education but the college will use any donations received to further improve the community ‘Wellbeing in Mind’ programme. Courses have been planned in a variety of locations and a range of times so that as many people as possible can be reached.

Andrew Willis, Bracknell & Wokingham Head of Community Learning, said:

“The college is delighted to be part of this exciting research looking at improving people’s mental health and wellbeing. It is estimated that one in four people will experience mental health difficulties during their lives, but there is growing evidence that that figure is well below actual levels.

“More and more stressful lifestyles are making mild and moderate mental health issues very common – but as people become more open about this, more stigma is taken away and it becomes easier to get help. So far, local mental health providers have been very supportive of the project – and people thinking of signing up have told me it’s getting a good reception amongst people they have spoken to.”
 
For further information about the courses or to register please contact 01344 868600 or email wellbeing@bracknell.ac.uk

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