What is Mood Matters?

Mood Matters is an award winning educational programme, developed and delivered by Aware Defeat Depression since 2000.

The programme incorporates basic Cognitive Behavioural Therapy concepts, teaching participants how our thinking and behaviour can affect how we feel, physically and emotionally.

The aims of the programme are to:
Raise awareness of the importance of looking after our mental health.
Highlight the risk factors for, and symptoms of, stress and depression.
Help to reduce stigma by conveying the message that depression is an illness and not a sign of weakness.
Provide information about treatments available and promote self help strategies for regaining and / or maintaining good mental health.
Provide participants with relevant literature to reinforce learning and provide a future point of reference.
Signpost participants to sources of support.

The aims outlined above are met through:
PowerPoint presentation including contemporary music and video clips.
Group work and discussions to engage participants and dispel myths around the subject of depression.
Activities which focus on and promote positive mental health and help seeking behaviour to reduce the risk of suicide and self harm.
Who is Mood Matters for?

The majority of courses are delivered in second-level schools but as stress, low mood and depression can affect anyone, Mood Matters has been developed into a range of different presentations with content and delivery to suit a variety of target groups.

Mood Matters in Young People (14 -18 years)

Mood Matters in Young People focuses on positive mental health and aims to improve emotional resilience. This is our most popular presentation and is delivered mainly in secondary schools. However, being mindful that this information is important to all young people, we are increasingly delivering sessions in training schemes, youth clubs, sports clubs and other appropriate settings. Our training can be adapted to the needs of a particular group to ensure maximum benefit to participants.

The presentation offered to 16/17 year olds includes a component dealing specifically with stress, as this is particularly relevant to students dealing with the pressure of A Level exams and the worries and concerns that may appear through the transitional period from school to university/college or work.

As well as the obvious benefit in terms of personal development, the programme when delivered in secondary schools also supports some areas of the school curriculum:
GCSE Learning for Life and Work: Personal Social and Health Education
A Level Home Economics: Module 3: Stress, Depression and Anxiety.
A Level PE: Development of pupils as individuals.

Participating schools are supplied with optional pre and post visit activities which may be delivered by teachers. Also, follow-up cards are distributed to all schools six months after our visit to reinforce learning and encourage continued self awareness. Information booklets are provided to all students, teachers and guardians as part of the programme.

Other Mood Matters Programmes

The content of our other Mood Matters presentations is similar to that of the Young People's programme, but each one differs slightly to focus on issues relevant to the particular target group. The programmes are as follows:

Mood Matters in Later Years

Aimed at the 50+ age group. This age group is at high risk of developing depression, yet the illness can remain undiagnosed due to the assumption that the symptoms are just an inevitable part of getting older. Promotes positive mental health through the importance of exercise, diet, social contact, hobbies etc

Age-specific discussion focuses on triggers for stress and depression that are more
apparent in later years such as loss, isolation and significant life changes. Clarifies the difference between depression and dementia.
Promotes early recognition of the symptoms of depression and highlights the importance of early recognition particularly in those with dementia.

Mood Matters in Adults

Aimed at 25 to 49 years age group.
Aims to help adults learn about the illness and recognise the importance of self help strategies to improve mood.
Uses appropriate activities and group work.
Uses CBT concepts to highlight the link between thinking, behaviour and feelings

Mood Matters in Pregnancy

Aimed at expectant and new mothers and new fathers, for whom mental health issues are not uncommon.
Explores risk factors that may be increased during pregnancy such as stress, sleep deprivation and financial worries.
Highlights the positive effect that a mother's good mental health has on her child's development from 0-5 years.
Increases awareness of the importance of attachment and connection with the child and the impact this has on the brain development. "Emotional Development is actually built into the architecture of young children's brains in response to their individual personal experiences and the influences of the environments in which they live".
Shows how poor attachment can increase the likelihood of developing poor mental health/illness at adolescent stage."Mental Health problems in early childhood can impair learning and behaviour for life".
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