Feeling sad or anxious at some point during your life is very normal and can often be resolved with the help of friends or family. But occasionally, these feelings can develop into more long-lasting mental health difficulties, including anxiety and depression. Around a quarter of the population are directly affected each year by mental health difficulties where more specialist help and support is needed. This course offers an insight into two of the most commonly diagnosed mental health difficulties: anxiety and depression. This five week course will improve your understanding and knowledge around depression and anxiety, dispel some common myths about these disorders, and introduce you to a leading, effective treatment for both disorders, called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (or ‘CBT’ for short). Understanding depression and anxiety Getting to grips with depression and anxiety is a learning journey. In order to fully understand these difficulties we first need to understand how we process and make sense of the world around us, and how our emotional state may play an active role in this process. During the first week, we will explore this in more detail and there will be opportunities to consolidate your learning with a number of relevant practical activities. We will then look at depression and anxiety in turn, and will consider: how these disorders differ from ‘normal’ emotional states, highlight associated signs and symptoms, and explore some of the factors which may be responsible for maintaining these difficulties using a cognitive behavioural framework. The final two weeks will be devoted to illustrating how CBT can be used to treat depression and anxiety. Each week you’ll have the opportunity to engage in activities to help you apply the knowledge you gain on the course. There will be information to download, and interviews with experts and patients to help you understand more about these common disorders and one of the ways in which they can be successfully treated. It is important to emphasise that this online course is not intended to be a self-help ‘treatment’ for anyone experiencing anxiety or depression, nor can the information within it be used to formally ‘diagnose’ yourself or anyone else displaying symptoms of anxiety or depression. If you are concerned about yourself or someone else, you should in the first instance consult your primary healthcare professional. If you are feeling low or suicidal, or simply need someone to talk to, you can contact the Samaritans - a 24 hour listening service on 08457 90 90 90 or www.samaritans.org . If you are taking this course from outside of the UK and Ireland, then you can contact Befrienders Worldwide (www.befrienders.org) who offer emotional support worldwide.