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Integrating Care: Depression, Anxiety and Physical Illness

Key information

Subject area:

FutureLearn Online Courses

Course type:

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Credit level:

Not for credit


3 weeks

Available course dates:

From: 01 September 2023 To: 31 August 2024

Course overview

Explore the connection between depression, anxiety, and physical illness.

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 such as pain, fatigue, disability, and uncertainty around treatment, can all contribute to mental health problems, which in turn can worsen physical symptoms.

On this course, you’ll learn how mental and physical health interact. You’ll look in-depth at the relationship between physical and mental illness, and improve your ability to recognise symptoms and find help.

What does this course cover?

  • Overview of the mind and body link and why it matters
  • The impact of depression and anxiety on health and quality of life
  • Approaches to integrating mental and physical healthcare
  • Communication skills to overcome barriers to talking about distress in illness
  • Challenges to identifying depression and anxiety in people with a physical illness
  • Assessment and management of suicide risk
  • Self-care techniques and sources of support for depression and anxiety
  • Treatment options, including talking therapies and medication

What will I achieve?

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

Who will I learn with?

Matthew Hotopf

Matthew Hotopf

Executive Dean, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience

Who is this for?

This course is for anyone affected by physical and mental illness, their families and carers, and those working in healthcare.

What is the teaching schedule?

This course runs multiple times each year. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Please click the Apply button to find out when the next run will start. 

Our partners

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Future Learn

Course status:


Full fee £0



A blue tick surrounded by a square outline next to blue text saying “CPD Accredited”. This image confirms the short course has been accredited as conforming to continuing professional development principles.

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