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Let’s meet

Meet the Educator team who developed this free, online course with practical advice to help manage low mood and depression during COVID-19 pandemic
Hi, I’m Monika Parkinson. I’m a Clinical Psychologist and Research Fellow at the University of Reading, and I’m also the Lead Educator on this course. I’m so pleased you’ve decided to join us on this course all about supporting young people with low mood during the pandemic. Now, more than ever, we need to be thinking about our mental health. And in particular, about how to support young people to cope. I really hope you find some of the strategies and information useful and practical, and that you feel that you can apply them to your everyday life. And I really look forward to hearing from you on some of our discussion forums.
Hi, my name is Faith Orchard and I’m a Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of Reading. I’m also one of the Educators of this FutureLearn course. I really look forward to chatting with you all in the next couple of weeks. And I hope you find the activities and steps helpful and supportive for taking care of yourselves and your families.

Hello and welcome to ‘COVID-19: Helping Young People Manage Low Mood and Depression’. If this is your first course, please review the ‘Using FutureLearn’ article  for an introduction to learning on this platform.

This course is full of useful, practical advice to help you manage low mood and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. It will also help parents and supporters explore how they can help and offer support and you’ll find content for both groups. You’ll explore tips on structuring your day, the importance of modelling and self-care, as well as advice on managing difficult thoughts and using communication to keep conflict to a minimum.

Meet your educator team:

This course has been written by Dr Monika Parkinson, Dr Faith Orchard and Dr Michelle Lee. Watch Monika and Faith introduce themselves in the video above.

Dr Monika Parkinson Clinical Psychologist and NIHR Research Fellow at the University of Reading. Monika has over 15 years of clinical experience with young people and families in NHS and private settings. She has conducted a number of research studies on anxiety and depression in young people and has a special interest in the well-being of parents.
Dr Faith Orchard Lecturer in Clinical Psychology. Faith’s work has involved carrying out research on anxiety and depression in young people. She is particularly interested in how young people develop mental health problems, and how these problems can be prevented and/or treated.
Dr Michelle Lee Educational Outreach Lead at the Charlie Waller Institute. Michelle oversees projects designed to raise awareness and understanding of anxiety and depression in children, young people and adults within schools and primary healthcare settings.

We’d also like to acknowledge and thank Professor Shirley Reynolds and Dr Laura Pass as well as our colleagues from the Anxiety and Depression in Young People (AnDY) Research Clinic, at the University of Reading. Professor Shirley Reynolds devised our FutureLearn course Understanding Low Mood and Depression in Young People and co-authored it with Michelle, Monika, Faith and Dr Laura Pass.

The Educator team will be joined by our course mentors; Will and Aggie, both trainee Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners at the University of Reading. They will be supporting the discussions found at the end of each Step between 4 May and 29 May. You can ‘follow’ the Educator team members to see their responses to other Learners; you just need to view their profile and click the ‘Follow’ button. By following a profile, any comments made will appear in your activity feed, which you can filter by selecting ‘Following’.

Getting started

Now that you’ve met the team, it’s your turn to introduce yourself in the discussion area below. Before you do, remember;

  • we’re currently in an unprecedented and difficult time and it’s important to be mindful that your fellow learners’ circumstances may differ,
  • be careful about sharing sensitive and personal information about yourself or others that can be used to identify an individual,
  • if you see a comment which is inappropriate, press the flag button beneath the comment for FutureLearn’s moderators to review.

Let’s return to the course. Say hello in the discussion below and tell us where in the world you’re currently based.

You can ‘Like’ and reply to other learners’ comments. You can also filter comments to see those that are ‘Most liked’ and find your own by selecting ‘My comments’.

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COVID-19: Helping Young People Manage Low Mood and Depression

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