Over 105,181 people took the opportunity to learn skills to help support them in dealing with the effects of the pandemic on their mental and emotional wellbeing between June and December last year.
Now a further three courses have been announced – available from January through to March 2021 – to meet further interest and demand.
Lorna Conn, HSCB Programme Manager, Mental Health and Learning Disability, said: “People may be feeling overwhelmed and stressed. It is completely normal to feel that way. These classes will help people learn more skills to manage stress in these difficult times.”
Topics covered during the Stress Control course include an overview of what stress is, controlling your body and your thoughts, controlling your actions, and techniques to get a good night’s sleep.
Stress control is a class, not ‘group therapy’. The other advantage is that people can take part in the class from the privacy of their own home, meaning that there’s no need to meet as a group, which is safe from a COVID-19 perspective.
The digital approach is one of the ways that services are adapting to deliver support in innovative ways during the pandemic.
The classes were created and presented by Dr Jim White, a Clinical Psychologist, and are available at a specially dedicated site for Northern Ireland at www.ni.stresscontrol.org
Participants do not have to register or log in to view the course – they simply click on the link for the January course and watch the streamed classes twice a week for six weeks. The classes can be watched in the morning or evening and last for 90 minutes.
Each course will run for three weeks and comprises of six sessions. A new session is made available at 9am on Mondays and Thursdays and that can be watched 24 hours a day until it is taken down (at 11pm the night before the next session).
Support booklets and self- assessment, relaxation and mindfulness tool are also available in the ‘Free zone’.
The free online Stress Control classes are being supported by the Department of Health, Public Health Agency and the Health and Social Care Board.