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Young People and Their Mental Health

What are the most common mental health problems, what can you do about them and how do you improve your mental health?

79,377 enrolled on this course

Young People and Their Mental Health

Learn to recognise, prevent and deal with your mental health problems.

Mental health problems often develop during the teenage period. As many as 1 out of 5 teenagers are dealing with these problems. Therefore, it is important that you know how to recognise common mental health problems, know how they arise, what you can do to prevent them and what you should do when you actually suffer from them. This course, designed specifically for young people, will help you find out more.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 4 seconds Have you ever felt down, frightened, or stressed for a longer period of time? Do you find it hard to deal with other people, or you cannot manage to sit still and concentrate on your schoolwork? You are not the only one. At least one in five young people suffered, or is suffering, from psychological problems such as depression, fear, eating disorders, or ADHD. What is worse is that many of the mental health problems actually start when you are still an adolescent. It’s very likely that you have, or had, to deal with this, or that you know someone who does. Have you ever wondered what psychological problems actually are and what you can do about it?

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 seconds The University Medical Centre Groningen, University of Groningen, and Cambridge University will help you answer these questions in the easily accessible free online course about mental health especially designed for young people. By using personal stories, animations, short assignments, quizzes, and interviews, you will explore mental health, and you will learn to recognise the most common psychological problems. You will also find out what you can do to prevent mental health problems, or how to deal with these problems once you have them. If this seems interesting to you, sign on and join us in this mental health exploration.


  • Week 1

    Introduction mental health & eating disorders

    • Introduction to the course

      What are you going to do in this course? And why is it important to learn about mental health and common psychological problems?

    • Why do psychological problems often occur in young people?

      In this video, Lizanne Schweren explains that during puberty many things change inside your body and your life. This makes you more vulnerable for developing psychological problems.

    • What is a good mental health?

      Find out what the ingredients are for a good mental health

    • When can you speak of psychological problems?

      You learn that there are many different kinds of psychological problems and that you can suffer from these to smaller and larger degrees.

    • How often do psychological problems occur in young people?

      An indication of how many young people suffer from psychological problems is given.

    • Introduction to mental health test

      Test your understanding of mental health

    • Introduction to eating disorders

      Listen to Romy's personal story. She suffered from an eating disorder in her teens.

    • What are eating disorders?

      Learn about the characteristics of eating disorders. It is not always easy to recognise an eating disorder, because often it starts gradually.

    • Why does someone get an eating disorder?

      You learn that there are multiple causes to getting an eating disorder.

    • How often do eating disorders occur and what are the consequences?

      How often do eating disorders occur, how many boys and girls have it and what can the consequences be?

    • Getting help for an eating disorder

      Learn how important it is that someone with an eating disorder receives help.

    • Conclusion eating disorders

      Test your knowledge about eating disorders.

  • Week 2

    Depression & anxiety

    • Introduction to depression

      What are depressions?

    • What is a depression?

      Learn about the characteristics of a depression.

    • How often do depressions occur?

      Learn about how often depressions occur and at what age they often start to develop.

    • Why does someone become depressed?

      Learn that a depression almost always starts developing because of a combination of personal characteristics and his or her environment.

    • Depression and then what?

      Learn how depressions develop and how you can deal with that.

    • Conclusion depression

      Test your understanding of depressions.

    • Introduction to anxiety

      There are many types of anxiety or fear. Phobias, fear of failure and compulsion will be addressed.

    • Phobias

      Learn about phobias: unnecessary yet extreme fear for certain situations, things or animals.

    • Fear of failure

      Learn about fear of failure: being too afraid to make mistakes.

    • Compulsion

      Learn about compulsion: you need to think or do certain things because you feel something bad will happen if you don't do them.

    • Conclusion anxiety

      Test your understanding about anxiety.

  • Week 3

    Autism & ADHD

    • Introduction to autism

      What do you think about when hearing the word autism?

    • What is autism?

      Learn what autism is and what it is like to have autism.

    • Why isn't autism just called autism?

      More explanations about what autism entails.

    • How does autism start and how do you deal with it?

      You learn how autism starts, at what age and if you could ever get rid of it.

    • Conclusion autism

      Test your understanding of autism.

    • Introduction to ADHD

      A short introduction to ADHD.

    • What is ADHD?

      Explanations about ADHD symptoms.

    • What is and what isn't ADHD?

      Find out what difference is between someone who is just restless or easily distracted and someone with ADHD.

    • Does ADHD occur more often than it used to?

      What do you think? The educator explains.

    • What are the causes of ADHD?

      Look online for ADHD causes and the educator will also explain about causes.

    • ADHD and then what?

      Learn about treatments for people suffering from ADHD.

    • Conclusion ADHD

      Test your understanding of ADHD.

  • Week 4

    Substance abuse & antisocial behaviour

    • Introduction to substance abuse

      In this week we will deal with substance abuse and antisocial behaviour. First we will deal with the use of alcohol and drugs by youngsters, with a strong focus on alcohol use.

    • How many young people use alcohol or drugs

      You learn that a lot less young people drink alcohol or smoke than they actually think.

    • Risks of alcohol abuse and other substances

      You learn about the risks that alcohol and other substances bring.

    • Addiction

      You learn what addiction is and how many young people get addicted.

    • Conclusion substance abuse

      Test your understanding about substance abuse.

    • Introduction to antisocial behaviour

      What is antisocial behaviour?

    • Why do young people show more antisocial behaviour?

      You will learn why there is a peak in antisocial behaviour among young people.

    • Different groups of young people with antisocial behaviour

      Most young people that show antisocial behaviour grow over it. There is a small group of young people that keep showing antisocial behaviour later in life.

    • Conclusion antisocial behaviour

      Test your understanding of antisocial behaviour.

  • Week 5

    Psychosis & resilience

    • Introduction to psychosis

      In this week we will go into psychosis and resilience. First we will discuss psychosis.

    • What is psychosis?

      You learn what psychosis is, William will tell you more about his psychosis and we will show pieces of art that were made by people with psychosis.

    • How often do psychoses occur?

      Find out yourself how often psychoses occur.

    • Why does somebody get psychosis?

      You will learn about the causes of psychosis. Furthermore, William will tell you what the causes for his psychosis were.

    • How do you get psychosis and what can you do about it?

      How does psychosis develop and how can it be treated?

    • Conclusion psychosis

      Test your understanding of psychosis.

    • Introduction to resilience

      We will explain what resilience is.

    • Resilience and bad experiences

      How do you deal with negative experiences?

    • How do you increase your resilience?

      About help, skills and characteristics that increase your resilience.

    • Talking to others

      When you have experienced something negative or feel bad, do not try to solve it by yourself. Talk about it with someone you trust as soon as possible.

    • Taking good care of yourself

      People who are resilient listen to their needs and undertake things that help them relax.

    • Take action!

      You learn how to make an action plan to do things that will make you feel better.

    • Professional help

      It is important to realise when you are not able to solve your problems on your own. That is why you need to timely seek professional help.

    • Conclusion resilience

      Test your understanding of resilience and ending the course

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify symptoms of the following mental health problems: eating disorders, depression, anxiety, autism, ADHD, addiction, antisocial behaviour and psychosis.
  • Explain that there is no a clear dividing line between mentally-healthy and not mentally-healthy people.
  • Describe personal, environmental and genetic factors as possible causes of psychological problems.
  • Describe ways to deal with psychological problems.

Who is the course for?

This course has been created for young people aged over 14 wanting to know more about mental health. It might also be of interest to parents, caregivers, teachers and medical professionals.

Who will you learn with?

Postdoc at the University Medical Center Groningen; Coordinator of this MOOC about mental health for young people

Professor at the University Medical Center Groningen; director of a large longitudinal study about adolescent mental health (TRAILS); editor of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

Who developed the course?

University of Groningen

The University of Groningen is a research university with a global outlook, deeply rooted in Groningen, in the north of the Netherlands.

University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge contributes to society through the pursuit of excellent education, learning, and research.

University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG)

UMCG is building the future of health through its focus on complex patient care, research, education and training.


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Billed at $189.99 for a year

Endless possibilities!

  • Access to this course
  • Access to ALL eligible short courses with additional benefits, for a year
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

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*FutureLearn considers a short course complete when a learner has engaged with 90% of the content. For enrolments to short courses with the possibility of Upgrade in the year of 2020, enrolments with an Upgrade are completed 5.31 times as often as enrolments with basic access

*FutureLearn considers a short course complete when a learner has engaged with 90% of the content. For enrolments to short courses with the possibility of Upgrade in the year of 2020, enrolments with an Upgrade are completed 5.31 times as often as enrolments with basic access

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