Exploring the connection between mind and body

A new, free, three-week course sheds light on the relationship between physical illness and depression and anxiety.

Integrating Care: Depression, Anxiety and Physical Illness, developed by King’s Health Partners Integrating Mental and Physical Healthcare: Research Training and Healthcare Services (IMPARTS) project has launched a new, free, three-week course exploring the relationship between physical illness and depression and anxiety.

Watch a trailer for the course

Professor Matthew Hotopf, Academic Director of the King’s Health Partners Mind & Body programme, explains how the course will benefit people affected by mental and physical health issues.


Who is the course for?

Integrating Care: Depression, Anxiety and Physical Illness, is aimed at anyone affected by physical and mental illness, their families and carers, and those working in healthcare.

Around one in three people have a long-term physical illness, and of these people around one in three also struggle with mental health problems like depression and anxiety. Symptoms like pain, fatigue, disability, and uncertainty around treatment, can all contribute to depression and anxiety, which in turn can worsen physical symptoms.

Read a blog from Zac Hana on his experience with a chronic physical health condition and why he’s supporting the course.

The course sheds light on how our mental and physical health can interact and looks in depth at the relationship between physical illness and depression and anxiety, including how to improve our ability to recognise symptoms and sources of help.

What will you learn?

The course aims to help attendees:

  • explain the mind-body link and how mental and physical illness interact
  • initiate conversations about mental health and deal effectively with barriers to discussing depression and anxiety
  • evaluate suicide risk and explain when and how to take action
  • describe the key risk factors, signs and symptoms, and challenges to identifying depression and anxiety in people with a physical illness
  • demonstrate knowledge of practical coping strategies, treatment options and sources of support for people with depression and anxiety and a physical illness
  • reflect on how healthcare services can provide better care for people depression and anxiety and physical illness.

Professor Hotopf, who is also Director of the South London and Maudsley National Institute of Health Research Biomedical Research Centre, said:

In this course, you’ll hear first-hand from patients with experience of living with chronic illnesses, including how to open up conversations about emotional distress and the treatment options available. This course is designed to help patients, carers and healthcare staff alike improve their ability to identify and manage symptoms of physical and mental ill-health.
The course will be fundamental in meeting our aims as part of the Mind & Body programme to join up mental and physical healthcare and training to improve health outcomes for people with long-term conditions.

The new, free, online course starts on Monday 10 September 2018. Join more than 1,000 people who have already enrolled and sign up on the Future Learn website. For any questions about the course, please email Lauren.rayner@kcl.ac.uk.

Visit the King’s Health Partners Mind & Body programme website to find out more about how we’re driving integrated mental and physical healthcare.

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