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Online course for carers of people with psychosis and schizophrenia

King’s College London (KCL) have recently developed a new online course focused on some of the relevant issues for carers of people with psychosis and schizophrenia and will run through FutureLearn (which is part of the Open University and runs several free courses developed by leading educational institutions). The initiative was funded from the Ostaka Lundbeck Alliance, but the course was developed independently by KCL.

It is a global course and open and free to anyone in the world be part of. It is a two week course designed to offer an in-depth understanding of some of the key issues and questions relevant to carers supporting people with psychotic disorders, including:
•    Why is schizophrenia commonly described as psychosis?
•    How can we best understand psychosis and its key symptoms such as hearing voices?
•    What are the links between cannabis use and developing psychosis?
•    Can psychosis affect physical health?
•    How do medications work and what effects can they have?
•    In what ways are siblings of people with psychosis affected?
•    How can psychosis affect a carer’s health and their relationships?

The course includes a mixture of activities such as talking head videos, quizzes, written texts and opportunities for moderated discussions between learners. It will be the first time a course like this has been developed for carers.

The course is led by Dr Juliana Onwumere, a clinical psychologist working at the National Psychosis Unit and KCL. The course team are diverse comprising people with lived experience of caring and psychosis, and a number of leading national and international academics and clinicians from psychology, psychiatry, pharmacy and nursing across King’s Health Partners including:
Professor Elizabeth Kuipers (Chair of the NICE Guidelines for Psychosis and Schizophrenia)
Professor Sir Robin Murray (Chair of the Schizophrenia Commission)
Professor David Taylor (Author of the Maudsley Prescribing Guidelines)
Dr Fiona Gaughran (Lead Consultant Psychiatrist, National Psychosis Unit, Physical Health Lead, Psychosis CAG, Kings Health Partners)
Professor Mike Slade (Author of the 100 ways to support recovery, Making recovery a reality)
Dr Nadine Keen (Consultant Clinical Psychologist, PICuP)
Jacqueline Sin (Nurse Consultant and Lead, E Sibling Project)

The course is open to anyone with an interest in psychosis and caregiving issues. We designed the course with carers in mind. However, it would also be relevant for any student or professional working in a health setting with psychosis and carers. No previous knowledge of psychosis or experience of caring is required to take the course.

The course is based on approximately 3 to 4 hours per week study, and starts 12 October 2015, and enrolment is open from now.
The point of the course is that you can study how you like, in your own time. It is about flexible learning, in a style that best suits you e.g. if you want to do five minutes, you can do that, if you want to study for more, you can do that too.

People can sign up to the course by following this link.

King’s has also produced a podcast from a carer involved in the course which you can access here.

Email enquiries about the course can be sent to: Caringpsychosis.MOOC@kcl.ac.uk.

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