Learning for Life: Adult Learning, Mental Health and Well-Being

Image courtesy of Carlene Byland

Learning and education can affect mental health and wellbeing. A partnership between Northamptonshire Teaching Primary Care Trust and Northampton County Council Adult Learning Service resulted in the Learn 2b programme; a series of community based adult learning courses for people with mild to moderate depression and anxiety.

The courses were structured around the themes of:

  • Wellbeing, including stress management and confidence building
  • Creative expression, including creative writing, painting, drawing and card making
  • Healthy living, including healthy eating, yoga and complementary therapies

The Mental Health Foundation independently evaluated this programme over three years. The Learning for Life report published the results of this study, showing that community based adult learning programmes provide a simple, low-cost way of helping to reduce the symptoms of mild to moderate depression and anxiety.

This type of service, within primary care settings, could be used as an alternative to other treatments such as medication.

Iris Elliott

Iris Elliott

Head of Policy and Research