World’s first free course launched to help people eat themselves happier

LONDON, UK: Deakin University, one of Australia’s leading higher education institutions, has launched the world’s first free course in nutritional psychiatry on FutureLearn.com, Europe’s leading social learning platform.

The course; ‘Food and Mood: Improving Mental Health Through Diet and Nutrition’, offers a new approach to mental wellbeing, through a good diet. It has been developed by the University’s Food & Mood Centre, and is led by the head of translation & education at the centre Dr Tetyana Rocks and the director, Professor Felice Jacka, whose ground-breaking SMILES trial was the first study to show dietary changes could reduce symptoms of depression.

Poor diet and mental health are leading causes of death and illness worldwide. Despite the growing awareness around mental health and the drive to increase access to treatments, a global mental health crisis persists. Professor Jacka states “whatever we’re doing, its not working, we need new ways of preventing and treating mental health problems. Research recognises that diet quality has a direct association with mental disorders and we want to use this evidence to help people optimise their mental health and wellbeing”.

“This online course will help arm participants with specific tools to make dietary changes for better mental wellbeing, whether that’s for themselves, their friends or family, or clients” says Dr Rocks. She continued, “Learners will examine the physiological ways daily diet can affect mental and brain health, as well as considering the role of the immune system and the gut microbiome plays. The course also includes an evidence-based exploration of popular topics including macro and micronutrients, dietary misconceptions and myths, personalised nutrition and the gut-brain axis.”

The course is aimed at healthcare practitioners working with people with mental and brain health issues or in roles related to diet, nutrition and mental and brain health education. However, it has also been designed to allow general consumers to learn and enjoy.

Food and Mood: Improving Mental Health Through Diet and Nutrition’ is free to join now until the 20th January, it is three-weeks long and could be the first step towards positive changes in your diet and mental health.

About Deakin University’s Food & Mood Centre 

The Food & Mood Centre at Deakin University is a world-leading, multi-disciplinary research centre that aims to understand the complex ways in which what we eat influences our brain, mood, and mental health. We are a team of world-class researchers from various backgrounds, studying the food-mood relationship at various levels, from microbiology to public health. Within the field of Nutritional Psychiatry, our research initiatives aim to identify nutrition-based approaches to preventing and treating mental disorders that may improve brain and mental health both in Australia and globally. Our team works to bring our research from our laboratory to you; we are an evidence-based resource, and aim to provide top-quality Nutritional Psychiatry information for all.

About FutureLearn 

FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform formed in December 2012 by The Open University and is now jointly owned by The Open University and The SEEK Group. FutureLearn has over ten million people signed up worldwide. FutureLearn uses design, technology and partnerships to create enjoyable, credible and flexible online courses as well as undergraduate and postgraduate degrees that improve working lives. It partners with over a quarter of the world’s top universities, as well as organisations such as Accenture, the British Council, CIPD, Raspberry Pi and Health Education England (HEE). It’s also involved in government-backed initiatives to address skills gaps such as The Institute of Coding and the National Centre for Computing Education.