UK university offers a course in happiness following growing concern over students’ mental health

2018-10-10 14:52


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The University of Bristol has become the first UK university to offer its students a course in happiness.

The 10-week course, which isn’t compulsory, starts today, on World Mental Health Day.

According to Metro, the course – officially called the science of happiness – will offer strategies for living a more fulfilling life. It will explore what happiness is and how to achieve it, and it teaches practical strategies for students to apply in their everyday lives.

The course comes amid growing concerns around the mental health and emotional well-being of students.

Since 2016 a total of 11 students at Bristol University have committed suicide, BBC reports.

Ben Murray, a first-year English student, was one of students who took his own life earlier this year.

The 19-year-old had been falling behind in his studies and missing lectures.

Professor Judith Squires, the university’s vice-chancellor, says the course is meant for all students and not just those who are struggling with mental health issues.

“Ultimately, the aim of this course is to give students a greater understanding of what happiness is and how the human mind often sabotages happiness.

“We hope it’ll be hugely beneficial to our students, not just during their time at university but throughout their lives,” she told BBC.

According to Belfast Telegraph, the course is part of the institution’s initiatives to improving well-being. The other initiative is an opt-in scheme for which students can sign up in which they agree that university staff can inform a designated parent, guardian or friend if there are serious concerns about their well-being.

Bristol’s happiness course was inspired by a similar course at Yale University in the US.

Apart from practical mental wellness tips, the happiness course also addresses a number of scientific and philosophical issues such as whether happiness is in the genes and can really be influenced, how our minds distort happiness, and the role of culture in happiness.

Students will also consider how to pursue experience rather than possessions and learn how to reset their happiness levels.

Source: BBC, Metro, ITV, Belfast Telegraph

Read more on:    uk  |  mental health

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