Literature and Mental Health: Reading for Wellbeing (Free Online Course)

I'm always looking for ways to cope with my depression anxiety, and when I saw this free course about how reading can help with mental health, I signed up right away. I've always used books to cope with, well, most things, so it doesn't surprise me that literature can be an effective way to deal with mental disorders.

The course, Literature and Mental Health: Reading for Wellbeing, will be hosted by Warwick University on FutureLearn, a site that offers a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. It will be led by Dr Paula Byrne, one of the world’s leading Jane Austen experts, and Professor Jonathan Bate, a critic, biographer and reviewer.

This course "will consider how poems, plays, and novels can help us understand and cope with times of deep emotional strain. The reading load will be flexible, and you will have the opportunity to exchange ideas and feelings via the online discussions with other learners." It will explore themes of stress, heartbreak, bereavement, trauma, depression and bipolar, and aging and dementia.

I love that this course will explore so many different ways our mental health can affect us. It shows that reading really can be a great escape and coping mechanism for any number of mental health issues, and I can't wait to dive deeper into something that works so well for me. It's also great that there will be a place for everyone to discuss the course and other coping mechanisms. If you're someone who is struggling with a mental health disorder, please look into this. It could be so helpful. Besides, it's free! What do you have to lose?

Head over to Literature and Mental Health: Reading for Wellbeing's homepage to get more info about the course and to sign up. It starts February 1st, so register today so you don't miss out!