Adult Learner Health and Wellbeing

17 Mar 2021
On Day 3 of the AONTAS Adult Learners’ Festival (Wednesday, 3rd March 2021), AONTAS screened a thought provoking webinar on Facebook. This webinar included contributions from Dr Paul Gaffney, Lead Consultant in High-Performance Sport Clinical Psychology and Finola Colgan, Development Officer, Mental Health Ireland. Both speakers looked at mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Education and adult learning plays a key role in promoting and supporting positive learner mental health and wellbeing, particular when providing access to necessary supports for vulnerable learners.

This is an important focus of AONTAS’ work and includes supporting learners to share their voice around this topic. The resources below include research that is demonstrative of the need to consider mental health and wellbeing as a priority as we build back better together.

Dr. Paul Gaffney and Finola Colgan - the webinar speakers are pictured.
  • What is Happening in Adult Learning and Education (ALE)? (March 2021)
  • Learner Mental Health and Wellbeing and COVID-19 (May 2020)
  • COVID-19 Further Education and Training (FET) Learner Report (July 2020)

    Pursuing adult learning opportunities can yield many benefits to mental health and wellbeing. Approximately 300 Facebook and YouTube users viewed the Wellbeing Webinar. The webinar is now available to view and use as a blended learning resource. Below, you view and share the webinar recording and an accompanying activity worksheet designed by Finola Colgan (Mental Health Ireland).


    AONTAS warmly thanks all who attended this event and those who participated in the Festival week.

    2,557,558 people were reached through AONTAS' Festival Communications activities. More information about the Adult Learners' Festival is available here


    Other useful links:

    Feeling overwhelmed? Text ‘TALK’ to 50808 for free, anonymous and 24/7 mental health support, whether that’s a calming chat or immediate support.

    Mental Health Ireland:

    Thinking of returning to education as an adult? You may find the following resources helpful: