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Stress and Resilience Workshop

3rd-5th September 2021, Warwick University
(Space 26)
Online booking has now closed, please contact secretary@oups.org.uk for availability.

Modern life challenges our ability to cope, thrive and flourish, and as a result stress has become a pressing concern for many people. Recent evidence shows that a substantial proportion of university students experience particularly high levels of stress.

Since the Stress Weekend Workshop was last presented (in September 2019), the COVID pandemic has increased stress substantially for a high proportion of both children and adults of all ages. The effects of such increased stress have become apparent in the work context, in schools and in social and family life.

This weekend workshop will include a general consideration of stress as well as reflections on pandemic-related stress. It will use an engaging "hands-on" approach to focus on the nature, causes and effects of stress and to explore a broad range of practical coping skills and resilience-building strategies. Using practical workshops and mini-lectures, the course will examine biological, psychological and social aspects of stress, and will draw on the field of positive psychology as well as a number of traditional stress and resilience theories. Participants will be shown how to develop a personal action plan for enhancing their resilience and broadening their skills for coping with both long-term stress and critical stressful incidents (using "psychological first aid").

We recognise that many OU psychology students have a "day job" that involves supporting other people who are experiencing stress. For example, many work in health and educational contexts. The workshop will include suggestions for how participants can help both themselves and other people not only to survive stressful situations but also to thrive and flourish in their personal, academic and work contexts.

Topics to be discussed will include:

  • The BioPsychoSocial Nature of Stress
  • Stress & Resilience in the Workplace
  • Tools for Coping
  • Thriving - not just surviving
  • Psychological First Aid in Crisis
  • Everyday Mindfulness
  • Recovery from Pandemic Effects

The workshop is being held on the Warwick campus in parallel with other psychology courses and there will be ample opportunity to meet other students in a COVID-safe environment and to share experiences of life as an OU student and life in the past 18 months.

All lectures will be held in Radcliffe Conference Centre, Space 26.

Is this weekend COVID-Secure ?

In short, yes ! For details of the relevant arrangements please see our COVID-Secure FAQ

Printed material

Please note that this is a paperless event.

To be more environmentally friendly and to help manage our prices we will make electronic copies of any relevant handouts available to all registered attendees, either in advance so that those who need printed versions have plenty of time to organise these, or shortly after the event if the tutor has decided that this is more appropriate for their lecture. These are for attendees' personal use and may not be shared.

We'd like to thank our tutors for working to ensure that their presentations do not contain material to which they do not have copyright and for making them available in this way. And in advance, we'd like to thank all of you who support us in actively contributing toward a paperless environment and saving a few trees along the way !

General information (log in to access these links)

  • Frequently Asked Questions (Scarman/Radcliffe)
  • Keeping You Safe (Warwick COVID advice July 2021)
  • Joining Instructions Sept 2021

Event-specific material (accessible if you are logged in and authorised)

Please note that a fee will be applied if you download materials and subsequently cancel your booking (see our Terms & Conditions).

  • Stress & Resilience Workshop timetable
  • Session 1a - Introduction
  • Session 1b - Stress and coping during and after the pandemic
  • Session 2 - Understanding positive wellbeing
  • Session 3 - Stress
  • Session 4 - Enhancing resilience
  • Session 5 - Stress management
  • Session 6 - Emotional first-aid
  • Session 7 - Personal action plan
  • Session 8a - Wellbeing issues and Long COVID
  • Session 8b - Review


  • Jim Handley is a BPS Chartered, HCPC Registered Occupational Psychologist who uses psychology to solve real world problems, with a focus on psychological well-being, resilience and behaviour change. He has a wealth of professional experience designing and delivering stress management and resilience programs for public and private sector organisations and, as an Open University tutor for more than twenty years, has a deep understanding of the particular challenges facing OU students. Jim has a well-deserved reputation for accessible, informative and entertaining presentations.

  • Neil Frude has been a tutor with OUPS for over 20 years. He is a consultant clinical psychologist, a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and an Honorary Professor in Cardiff University and the University of South Wales. Neil was recently given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the BPS. He has also performed as a stand-up comedian at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, most recently in his 2017 show "The Future of Desire". In his clinical practice he helps many people affected by stress generated by their work environment and by other aspects of their life circumstances.

What to expect

The lectures are conducted in management conference seminar rooms within the University campus, and you will have been provided with a timetable of talks and lecture notes before you arrive.

You can choose how you spend your time. If you book the residential package then you will have a very comfortable ensuite room in management conference facilities complete with bedding, towels, a hairdryer, coffee-making facilities and desk. Wifi is also included. The training centre has a small exercise room within the building and you also have complimentary access to the  gym and pool on campus, so if you do want to relax then there is the option to do so.

The cost is inclusive of all meals, including Friday night and Saturday night dinner. There are no extra costs involved (except for drinks at the bar!). As well as your room and all meals this includes refreshments at break times, extensive handouts which are only available to attendees, revision of key course material, advice on revision techniques and assessments, welcome drink on Friday night. Non-residential places are available for a reduction, and the same breakfast, lunch, dinner and all tea/coffee/snack breaks during the day are still included.

The welcome drinks and psychology book stall are both excellent places to meet other students. All students and staff wear name badges, so it is easy to find somebody to help if you have any questions. You can enjoy your meals with a group of students in the comfortable dining room. The food is fresh, healthy buffet style catering, and there is something to entice everyone.

Finally, whilst most students leave exhausted from the learning and socialising, they comment that it is such a worthwhile weekend, and we see many of them each year as they progress their studies!


The weekend takes place at Radcliffe Conference and Training Centre, University of Warwick. Both accommodation and lectures are located in the same building unless you have been informed otherwise.

Warwick is an award winning conference venue with excellent facilities. Access to the sports facilities, including the swimming pool, are included in the price. The university's central location with excellent transport links makes it easily accessible from all over the UK and Europe. There is ample free car parking.


Click here for information on accessibility, parking and other related facilities.

Travel and directions

Click here for satnav postcodes and directions to the University of Warwick.

For campus maps go to Warwick Campus Maps.


Please note that due to roadworks Gibbet Hill is going to be closed at the junction week commencing 16th August until 12th September. The diversion route suggested is to travel down Kenilworth Road and join the A45 back towards campus via Sir Henry Parks Road/Charter Avenue. More information can be found here.


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