Wellcome - Psychological Perspectives on Mental health

Ref: C3531626

Discover how different ways of viewing and thinking about mental health can lead to very different treatments and outcomes. This course will examine a range of Psychological approaches to understanding the variety of human experiences, including those commonly regarded as mental illness. We will critically consider the medical model, behaviourist and cognitive approaches, the contributions of Psychoanalysis and counselling together with challenges to mainstream views. Each view point has something to offer but none can provide the whole story. As well as two hours together using zoom the tutor will provide at least two hours of further opportunities for participation on Canvas with videos, podcasts and articles to comment on, quizzes, online discussions and other material. This course is educational rather than therapeutic. It is not intended to support those seeking help with their own mental health. Expect challenging ideas and friendly discussion.

Course aim

To explore medical and psychological approaches to defining, explaining and treating Psychological Disorders. Introducing and comparing different, often contradictory, perspectives on human nature and what it means to be mentally healthy.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • You will need to be able to follow links to join our WEA live video learning platform: WEA Zoom. If you’d like to understand more about our video learning platform, Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline and http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • This course is for a group of around 15 students studying in a live video-learning platform conference and an online digital learning environment platform from the comfort of your own home.
  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is open to all but probably not helpful for those currently struggling with serious mental health issues. If in doubt request a phone chat with the tutor. This is an ideal follow up to the sister course - Understanding Psychological Disorders.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • outline different medical and psychological perspectives on mental health
  • appreciate some of the strengths and limitations of these different perspectives
  • reflect on ways that different psychological perspectives have influenced my own thinking and others behaviour in relation to human nature.
  • 4. feel more prepared take part in action for positive change regarding perceptions of mental health and abnormality in the wider community.
  • become more confident accessing and selecting sources of information online and using digital technologies such as Zoom and Canvas.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas will be used to provide resources or to support lessons, enable assessment, provide learner feedback and for other activities for individuals away from the course. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • Most of your learning will take place in your class, but one or two sessions will be online using WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas, working by yourself or engaging with other students. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • Live face to face sessions using Zoom will include a presentation of key ideas and plenty of opportunity to discuss these. There will also be about 2 hours of activities to complete between sessions.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • Your tutor will provide written, text and audio feedback recorded in WEA Canvas, WEA’s digital learning platform.
  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • There is no formal assessment for this course however students will have opportunities to assess their understanding through discussions self-assessment exercises. The tutor will also provide group and individual support by e-mail. A certificate of attendance can be provided on request.

What else do I need to know?

  • What you need: You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use our video learning platform, Zoom. If you’d like to understand more Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • You will also need access to the internet outside of your sessions. You could do this using a smart phone, tablet, laptop or a desktop computer (at home or through a library etc.).
  • You will need a personal email address to join the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas so that you can receive resources, record your progress and achievement and to work with others and share ideas. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • It would help to have a little knowledge about common Psychological Disorders such as depression, bipolar, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia etc. The sister course - Understanding Psychological Disorders provides an excellent introduction.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • There is no essential reading but lots of sources of further information will be provided including web-site and books. A copy of all presentation materials used will also be made available to students on Canvas. Information will be available on Canvas before the first live session.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information http://pearl.open.ac.uk/
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here http://www.wea.org.uk/learn-wea/what-can-i-do-next
  • This course is supported by a grant from the Wellcome Trust

Download full course information sheet

Wellcome - Psychological Perspectives on Mental health


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2020
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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