Skip main navigation

Learn how young people can manage low mood and depression during COVID-19 with a new online course

This free course offers young people, parents, and supporters advice on how to look after themselves, and practice good mental wellbeing and mood during unprecedented circumstances. 

Young people and their parents and supporters can learn more about low mood and depression from experts at the University of Reading through a new, free short course opening on Monday 4 May.

In partnership with FutureLearn, the social learning platform, experts from the Anxiety and Depression in Young People (AnDY) Research Clinic have developed a two week online course to provide practical help and expert understanding about young people who may be experiencing low mood and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Dr Faith Orchard, a Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of Reading, said: “We are all having to adapt to a different way of living, but we know that some young people are particularly vulnerable to some of the negative thoughts and feelings associated with these challenging times.”

“This course is aimed not only at young people, and their parents and supporters, to have a better understanding of their feelings and their mood but will also be beneficial for anyone with an interest in the topic.”

Dr Monika Parkinson, a Research Fellow and Clinical Psychologist at the University of Reading, said: “Positive peer and family relationships as well as valued activities are an important part of young people’s well-being and the current situation may be putting a strain on all of these areas. This course will provide evidence-based information, practical advice and tips on how young people can cope with low mood and depression and find opportunities to build new coping skills and resilience.”

The course provides guidance on:  

  • Structuring the day and promoting healthy habits
  • Positive family communication and getting along
  • Self-care and the importance of modelling behaviour 
  • Managing your thoughts and feelings
  • Using the time as a chance to develop resilience 

Launching Monday 4th May, the course, COVID-19: Helping Young People Manage Low Mood and Depression will be available for free on FutureLearn to anyone around the world with an internet connection. 

Nicky McGirr, Online Courses Programme Manager, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with our team of experts to provide this much needed resource. Reaching out to communities around the world, we hope this authoritative, accessible course will also provide learners with an opportunity to share encouragement, and for many young people, their families and supporters to benefit from this online community.”

Find out more about all of the open online courses that the University of Reading offers at:


– ENDS –

Notes to Editor


Tim Mayo
University of Reading press office
0118 378 7110 //


About FutureLearn 

Here at FutureLearn, our purpose is to transform access to education. We do that by partnering with over a quarter of the world’s top universities to support over 11 million learners across the globe to develop skills and achieve their personal and professional goals. We’re a leading social learning platform founded in December 2012 by The Open University and are now jointly owned by The Open University in the UK and The SEEK Group. We use design, technology and partnerships to create enjoyable, credible and flexible short online courses and microcredentials, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. In addition to top universities, we also partner with leading organisations such as Accenture, the British Council, CIPD, Raspberry Pi and Health Education England (HEE), as well as being involved in government-backed initiatives to address skills gaps such as The Institute of Coding and the National Centre for Computing Education. 


FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education

Related stories on FutureLearn