The Mindfulness Foundation

Mindfulness for Sustainability

Mindfulness in Schools - as important as sport and as politically relevant as health

The Number 1 Meditation App Is Now Free For Teachers And Their Students

Robyn D. Shulman


Today, both teachers and students are facing a critical mental health crisis.
By starting meditation at an early age, we hope to cultivate these beneficial skills into adulthood. Introducing: The Calm Schools Initiative We’re giving free Mindfulness training tools to every teacher in the world

Department for Education, Department of Health and Social Care

4 February 2019


Up to 370 schools to join one of the largest Mindfulness trials in the world to boost the evidence about what works to support mental health and wellbeing


Children will benefit from mindfulness exercises, relaxation techniques and breathing exercises to help them regulate their emotions, alongside pupil sessions with mental health experts. The study will run until 2021 and aims to give schools new, robust evidence about what works best for their students’ mental health and wellbeing.

2017 Mental Health of Children and Young People Survey - First new data for 14 years

22 November 2018


The first robust update on child mental health since the last survey in 2004. This has been published by NHS Digital. This survey series provides England’s best source of data on trends in child mental health. Major surveys of the mental health of children and young people in England were carried out in 1999, 2004, and 2017. The latest survey was funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, commissioned by NHS Digital, and carried out by the National Centre for Social Research, the Office for National Statistics and Youthinmind.

Why we need to put mental and physical first aid on an equal footing

At the turn of the 11th century, a group of religious knights trained to be able to provide basic medical treatment. Known as the Order of St John, they used their skills on the battlefields of the crusades, assisting the injured as a first port of call.


Fast forward to 1878 in Victorian Britain. Surgeon-Major Peter Shepherd delivers the first ever first aid course in the hall of a Presbyterian school in central London. The idea spreads across the globe and within a decade thousands of St John first aid certificates have been awarded over four continents.


A century later, the principle is enshrined in workplace law and today the Where’s Your Head At? campaign is calling for the same to happen again. But this time, for our mental health.

World’s first Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit to be held in London on 10-13 October 2018.   Click for News Story

LORD RICHARD LAYARD, speaks on the issues: mindfulness, mentally healthy schools, wellbeing and Action for Happiness!

Link: Exploring What Matters: The Action for Happiness Course

BBC News:  Can mindfulness improve pupils' concentration?

So can mindfulness meditation really help pupils concentrate amid the distractions of 21st Century living? A group of BBC School Reporters from Connaught School for Girls in Leytonstone, east London, decided to investigate for the project's 10th annual News Day.


This major new campaign, Wise Up, calls on the Government to rebalance the education system so that the wellbeing of students is as important as academic achievement. 
The Telegraph -  Camilla Turner, Education Editor

Mind With Heart will be working with 400 teachers on mindfulness for staff wellbeing in 20 Australian schools... research components include cortisol tests and classroom observations... We have designed a new course called Reconnected to do this, using evidence-based tools to help teachers reduce stress and increase wellbeing through mindfulness and compassion. In October and November 2016, we trialled this new course in four schools in partnership with Teachers Health Fund, the Queensland and New South Wales’ Dept. of Education and the Learning Sciences Institute Australia,

25:40   "Treatment is only part of the answer. We must look at what more can be done to prevent mental health problems, and work with you to capitalise on the crucial role civil society has to play in helping young people – and indeed people of all ages – build resilience." 


Link to full speech by Prime Minister


We know from the research "mindfulness" is a powerful contributor to "building resilience in children."

MYRIAD: Mindfulness and Resilience in Adolescence
This £6.4 million 7 year research programme, funded by the Wellcome Trust, is being carried out by teams at the University of Oxford, UCL (University College London) and the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, in collaboration with King’s College London and the University of Exeter.

  • In Health, it recommends expanding the opportunity for people who experience recurrent depression to take a course of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), as well as funding the training of competent teachers to deliver those courses.

  • In Education, it recommends designating schools to pioneer the further development of mindfulness training for teachers and young people.

  • In the Workplace, it urges government departments to take a lead by training their own staff in mindfulness, and encouraging examples of best practice and quality research.

  • And in the Criminal Justice System, it invites consideration to be given to offering mindfulness training to offenders with depression.

The Report is available here:

Mindful Nation UK Launched in Parliament, 20th October 2015

"encourage the flourishing and wellbeing of a healthy nation."


"Mindfulness is one of the most promising prevention strategies."


Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, one of three ministers at the launch, supported the creation of an education policy that acknowledged the long term importance of wellbeing.


She said: "I want to make it very clear that of course academic achievement is important, but so too is turning out well-balanced young people who are able to fulfil all of their potential. I'm not just on this stage [saying this] as Secretary for Education, but also as a mother and also somebody who has had family experience of mental ill health. It's really a no brainer for me."


The All-Party Group’s recommendations are practical, based on a summary of existing evidence for mindfulness:

Mental Health and Wellbeing in Children


Schools should measure pupil wellbeing regularly. Schools need an ethos that promotes children’s wellbeing and identifies children who are languishing; but they should also devote at least an hour a week to education in life skills. Children and young people need to learn how to understand and manage their own emotions, understand others and care for them, manage their sexual relationships responsibly, eat and drink sensibly and avoid drugs, understand mental disorders and what can be done about them, understand parenting, manage their responses to modern media and choose positive life goals. There are now hundreds of programs that have been developed worldwide to address one or more of these issues. Many of these programs have been rigorously evaluated on the whole age cohort in a school and been found to produce good results, at least in the short run. This was the finding of Durlak et al that we quoted earlier,67 and it related to impacts in the first six months after the programs ended. But, in the few cases where children have been followed up over a longer period, the effects have often been found to fade over time and, in many cases, to disappear.68 This is not surprising given that the programs typically average 20 hours. We should also note that many quite famous programs have had at least one trial which found no effects.69


This leads to two important conclusions. First, if children are to develop good life skills, they need more than one or two 20-hour programs: they need a whole curriculum of life skills, at least once a week throughout the school life. As Aristotle observed, good habits are learned through interesting repetition in varying contexts. Second, this curriculum should be evidence-based and depend as little as possible on inspired improvisation by the teacher. It is universally found that the best results follow from using detailed materials accompanied by a good manual on how to use them and some explicit training of the teachers70 (this is not so different from what is needed for a good surgical operation.) And the best results always come from offering a positive vision rather than warnings about what not to do.

Please write to your MP and urge them to look at the impressive evidence for mindfulness. Click here to follow these 3 easy steps:

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