Mental health course at Kingston Adult Education is a great success!

Adult education

A "Practical Ideas for Happier Living" course has been extended permanently after findings have shown significant positive results for adult learners that attended.

The programme, run by Kingston Council’s Adult Education, covers topics such as resilience, the importance of doing things for others, connecting with people, mindfulness, learning new things and finding ways to bounce back from adversity. Results from the first year show that 61% of learners who started their course with anxiety or depression no longer had clinically significant symptoms at the end of the course. 

The council were first awarded the funding in April 2015, as part of a £20 million community learning mental health research project. The aim was to identify the potential for adult and community learning courses to help people manage and recover from mild to moderate mental health problems. Kingston was one of only 52 providers nationwide to receive the funding. 

Sam Burgess, Head of Service at Kingston Adult Education, said:

“We are very proud of the amazing impact this course has had. In addition to helping over 300 people, this course has built up a great, supportive community. Since completing the course, learners have independently forged friendships and groups to support each other and share experiences. Others have been inspired to join walking groups or volunteer with the homeless. 

"At our monthly refreshers, past learners volunteer to give presentations on how life has changed for them and what they are now doing which continues to motivate and encourage all other learners. We are hoping the coming year is just as successful for all our new learners.”

Derek Underwood, a retired engineer from Surbiton who had been struggling with insomnia and had to rely on medication, was one of the learners who benefited from the programme.  

Derek said:

“I can’t praise the effect the course has had on me too highly. It enabled me to completely re-evaluate my attitude to life and resulted in a much more positive outlook and general enthusiasm to everyday living. I am now off all medication. I admit that I was fairly sceptical at the start of the course but as a retired pensioner this course has inspired me with a “Joie De Vivre” and cheerfulness for everyday life.”

Other learners have said:

“This course changed my life, pulled me out of a really low period.” “Fantastic course, I feel a lot more in control of my emotions. I’m a lot calmer, positive and gentler with myself.” “I wish this course was once a month FOREVER. You changed my life.” “I have now opened 1 to 1.5 years of post/mail.” “I now have purpose in my life and have goals.” “It’s given me a structure to follow enabling me to improve my thought processes and deal more effectively with the issues that were getting in the way of me just living my life in a positive way.” “A mind-blowing, inspirational course.” 

For more information about Adult Education courses on offer visit or call 020 8547 6700.