Understanding Mental Health - Psychological Disorders Part 2 - With Kevin Walker

Ref: C3532005

The course asks some challenging questions about what it means to be normal; the nature of mental health and illness; the reliability and usefulness of diagnosis and psychiatric labels generally. We will critically examine the criteria for diagnosis; some explanations and the effectiveness of some of the treatments for specific disorders. Part two considers O.C.D., Eating disorders, Autism and some Personality Disorders. As well as live sessions on zoom the tutor will provide further opportunities for participation on Canvas, you could expect to spend at least one to two hours on these tasks between sessions.This course is educational rather than therapeutic and is not intended to provide practical help for those seeking support with their own mental health. It will not enable you to diagnose yourself or others. This course is a fully online with no physical meeting space, accessing the course through Canvas our virtual learning environment and zoom a video conferencing software.

Course aim

To examine what it means to be seen as psychologically abnormal and the implications of a diagnosis of a mental disorder in our society. To understand and critique the classification, explanation and treatments for a range of psychological disorders.

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 if you are currently experiencing problems mental health then it is unlikely to be helpful. If you are unsure you can request that the tutor contact you by phone for a preliminary chat. Note the tutor is an experienced educator but not a mental health practitioner.

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

  • identify key characteristics used in the diagnosis of common psychiatric conditions and to be able to evaluate the reliability and validity of some of these.
  • understand and assess the evidence for popular explanations of some psychological disorders and evaluate the effectiveness for some of the treatments offered.
  • discuss the value and limitations of psychiatric labels and reflect on how these influence our own behaviour and that of others.
  • feel more prepared take part in action for positive change regarding your own or others perceptions of psychological abnormality in our society.
  • 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 zoom sessions will include a presentation of key ideas with plenty of time for discussion. Between sessions students will be set about 1-2 hours of tasks each week. For example a documentary or short video/podcast/article to comment on plus quizzes with lots of follow up video & web sources.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • 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
  • Your tutor will comment on online discussions and moderate quizzes as well as providing group and individual e-mails.

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
  • This is an introductory level course. No prior knowledge or experience is assumed.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • You will have access to course resources and links to wider learning through the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • Information will be provided on Canvas before the first session with suggested reading and other course information but none of this is essential.

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
  • A follow up course 'Welcome - Perspectives on Mental Health' will be available next term.

Download full course information sheet

Understanding Mental Health - Psychological Disorders Part 2 - With Kevin Walker


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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