Media & Research Diary: July-December 2015

News and Research links for Mindfulness in Education

See left side link for the 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 & 2012 Media and Research entries

28 December 2015

Why Google, Target, and General Mills Are Investing in Mindfulness
Harvard Business Review


As a leadership strategy, mindfulness helps people to be more effective by directing focus to the most pertinent task at hand. Deprogramming multitasking tendencies and intentionally focusing with full attention results in higher quality interactions and decisions. Mindful decision makers take the time to consider all of their options, and therefore make more-informed decisions. Managers who model and promote mindful practices with their teams create an environment of engagement. Several well-known and respected organizations have long recognized the benefits that mindfulness brings. Here are some specific examples of the types of programs these forward-thinking companies are implementing . . .

Just 6 Seconds of Mindfulness Can Make You More Effective
Harvard Business Review


In The Harvard Business Review, former Google engineer Chade-Meng Tan highlights a mindfulness practice used regularly by one Google exec. Before every meeting, Karen May, Google's vice president of people development, recharges by taking one "mindful breath." Tan is somewhat of a mindfulness guru himself. Before retiring from Google in October 2015, he taught a hugely popular mindfulness meditation course called "Search Inside Yourself."

Happiness vs GDP: can wellbeing statistics find a place in political debate?
The Guardian


Since 2012, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has been compiling such measures, prompted by a £2m cheque from David Cameron, the first major politician to pose the happiness question. Long before reaching No10, Cameron argued “there’s more to life than money and it’s time we focused not just on GDP but on GWB – general wellbeing”.

16 December 2015
Mix meditation, yoga and NHS services and get … wellbeing
The Guardian


The NHS, local council and university in Northamptonshire have come together to launch a pioneering new company that will prioritise preventive healthcare services.

Due to launch next spring, it is being billed as the first countywide prevention service, focused on keeping people well rather than treating them only after illness occurs. It will cover a range of traditional NHS services and new offerings such as meditation and yoga.

Analysis Has Alaska found holy grail of cutting costs and improving healthcare?
Not-for-profit organisation delivering health services for Alaska Native people has tackled waiting times and improved outcomes. What can the NHS learn?
 Read more
The CIC (a type of social enterprise) is part of the council’s “next generation” service model, which it hopes will save £150m a year.

The council plans to outsource services to four separate new mutuals over the next four years, the Wellbeing Company being the first.

7 December 2015
Maths, English and happiness on the school timetable
The Telegraph


A West Midlands school is putting lessons in happiness on the curriculum alongside maths and English, it has been revealed. Sacred Heart Primary School in Tipton will introduce the lessons this week, following positive responses to a training day for staff in November.

The lessons will take place once a week and will be taken by all pupilsin the school, from Nursery to Year 6. Speaking to the Telegraph, Melanie Gee, head teacher at the school, said she had been exploring a variety of ideas to make sure children's well-being and mental health needs were being met. "The things that Jules taught us on the training day we have now been able to put into practice, for example, mindful breathing. I've found this invaluable."

6 December 2015
Two simple mindful meditation exercises for teachers 
Guardian Teacher Network 


Teaching can be hard, and reports tell us those in the profession feel under increasing pressure. A BBC investigation earlier this year found that stress-levels have soared in recent years due to increased workloads.


In my 20-years of practice as a psychologist, I’ve found that mind-body strategies such as mindfulness meditation are one of the best ways to combat stress and anxiety – especially for teachers.


Research backs this up. There have been more than a dozen research studies, including one from RMIT University (pdf), that have investigated the impact of mindfulness for teachers. 


20 November 2015
Grow your own happiness: how meditation physically changes the brain

Sarah Knapton, Science Editor, The Telegraph


Aristotle said that ‘happiness depends upon ourselves’ and a new study suggests it is possible to physically grow a happier brain through practices like meditation.


Although scientists have known which hormones produce emotions like pleasure or desire, it has been unclear where the feeling of overall contentment and well-being stems from. To find out, scientists at Kyoto University asked 51 volunteers to rate their own happiness levels and then scanned their brains to see if they could spot any differences between the upbeat individuals and their more glum counterparts..

18 November 2015

The Duchess of Cambridge attends Place2Be Headteacher Conference

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Our Patron The Duchess of Cambridge will attend this year's Headteacher Conference as part of her ongoing work on the mental health of children. She will be joined by Headteachers from around the UK who will discuss the key issues and latest thinking on the role that schools can play in tackling mental health problems early in life and who will share ideas and expertise to help build children's emotional resilience.


The conference will include presentations from Headteachers working in some of the most disadvantaged parts of the UK, alongside leading experts in child psychology and those involved in M-PACT Plus, a joint programme between Place2Be and Action on Addiction (funded by The Royal Foundation and Comic Relief) to support families dealing with the hidden harm of drug or alcohol addiction. The conference will also hear thoughts on young people's emotional wellbeing from students at Stewards Academy in Harlow and a drama performance on Leadership by children from The Crescent Primary School in Croydon. 

4 November 2015
Miserable Children, Workforce Resilience and Why We Need Mindfulness In Schools
James Berry MP


The appetite for prioritising mental health and wellbeing is there. Some leading private schools are already including mindfulness as part of the curriculum. David Cameron himself has said we need to focus on general wellbeing as much as GDP; and the government has kept true to its word and set up a measuring platform to calculate national wellbeing.


With more and more research showing that mental health is worsening in our schools and that this problem poses serious long-term costs of as much as £105billion a year, then now is the time to be innovative, look at what's working and act. It's time to start piloting mindfulness in our schools, and measure its success.

2 November 2015
For Real Change in Education, Try Mindfulness
Elizabeth Frias, PhD


It is my belief that expensive school programs promising happier teachers and students will not yield the results desired unless mindfulness is a component.


There are a plethora of programs out there that claim to offer schools an efficient and effective strategy for addressing students' social and emotional demands and discipline needs. Unfortunately, providing the school staff with trainings and handbooks only goes so far. After my student's presentation, I realized for real change to occur - to get not only positive behaviors from the students, but also from the school staff - the change has to come from within one's self. This is where mindfulness can help.

31 October 2015
Ananda App
Chopra Center


Chopra Center Meditation present the guided meditation app Ananda - Living in Love. Mix and match 22 guided meditations with 22 musical tracks to create 484 unique meditation experiences. Customize the length of your meditation practice and control the sound balance between the music and meditation tracks to create a personal meditation library.

31 October 2015
Mindfulness Is Going Global
Mindfulness Summit


It might not seem like going online would equate to mindfulness. After all, isn't the whole point of "switching off" well, switching off?


However Byron Bay-based meditation and yoga teacher Melli O'Brien, along with her internet entrepreneur partner Matt Dickinson, have turned that notion on its head with the successful launch of the the world’s first online Mindfulness Summit earlier this month. Launched on October 1, the Mindfulness Summit has since attracted 250,000 members and, according to O'Brien, has received a whopping 3.5 million page views as of 27 October.

28 October 2015
The happiness of the UK's schoolchildren - in eight charts
Guardian Teacher Network


Recent research brings good news for satisfaction at school and home, despite sleeplessness and the selfie obsession


What do children in Britain worry about? Do they think about the future? How happy are they? The lives of young people can feel like a mystery to teachers and parents, but a recent report offers some insight into the next generation – from their stress levels to selfie obsessions, personal relationships and technology use. The survey of more than 2,000 children, aged between 7 and 14 across the UK, found that the majority are happy at home (95%) and in school (75%). We’ve digested the main findings into eight areas:

24 October 2015
Mind Stretching
The Economist


BELATEDLY, Western politicians are waking up to the grave harm caused by mental illness. Before Britain’s general election in May, every plausible political party pledged to treat the mentally ill more generously. In America politicians look at a rash of mass shootings by deranged young men and draw the second-most-obvious conclusion: that psychological problems must be dealt with better.

23 October 2015
Duke and Duchess shine spotlight on mental health in Dundee visit
Mental Health Foundation


Scotland's mental health organisations and national anti-bullying service are delighted to welcome The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's focus on young people's mental health and wellbeing. Today [Friday 23 October] The Duke and Duchess visited the Dundee Rep Theatre to take part in a workshop with a group of young See Me volunteers to hear about their experiences of mental health and their work to tackle stigma.


At the theatre they also met performers from the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival. They then participated in an anti-bullying session with respectme at The Corner, before joining a meeting of the Young Scotland in Mind Coalition chaired by SAMH and Barnardo's at The Shore.

20 October 2015
Mindful Nation UK Launch


Mindful Nation UK Launched in Parliament, 20th October 2015 "We need to take prevention strategies seriously if we are to reduce the burden of mental ill health, and 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."


Listen here to the Parliamentary Launch of the Mindful Nation UK Report

16 October 2015
Hollywood star Goldie Hawn backs Pembrokeshire school's initiative
Milford & West Wales Mercury


A PEMBROKESHIRE secondary school is pioneering a unique educational programme promoted by a Hollywood star. Ysgol Dewi Sant is the only secondary school in the UK offering pupils the Hawn Foundation’s Secondary MindUP programme.


Championed by Foundation-founder, actress Goldie Hawn, the programme aims to aid academic success by helping pupils focus during learning and keep calm during periods of exam stress. Earlier this month the school’s assistant headteacher Pippa Raggett met up with Goldie Hawn at a Foundation conference in London.

16 October 2015
Providing high quality mental and social care services
Department of Health - The Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP


Three-quarters of mental health problems in adult life start by the age of 18 and, by not taking action when the first signs of a mental illness or distress occur in our children and young people, we are instilling inertia in our future generations. They will believe that this is what adult life is like, with nowhere to turn.


The reality is that 1 in 10 children needs support or treatment. Children’s mental health is therefore my top priority, and the £1.4 billion we have allocated for improving children and young people’s mental health, including investment in treating eating disorders in the community over the lifetime of this parliament will soon start to make a big difference.

15 October 2015
Leading off With Mindfulness
IMEX America


The definitive writer and researcher on mindfulness is Harvard professor of psychology Ellen Langer (the 25th anniversary edition of her book was published in 2014)—but this year the topic of mindfulness and business has appeared in nearly every business magazine and on the docket at Davos. In Las Vegas, attendees at IMEX America 2015 had several opportunities to join in guided meditation before the tradeshow even opened. Keynote speaker Lee Papa led off Smart Monday October 12, IMEX America’s day of education developed in partnership with Meeting Professionals International. Papa is a trainer, author, and former stressed-out, Type A businessperson who now lives an entirely different life and makes it her mission to help others do the same.

14 October 2015
Under pressure: ChildLine annual review


ChildLine provided over 290,000 counselling sessions to children and young people last year. Children contact us all times of day and night by phone, email and by 1-2-1 online chat. Our annual review looks at what children talk about when they contact us. It looks at who contacts us and how. It focuses on the areas that have seen the biggest increase over the last year: mental health conditions; eating disorders; online abuse and safety; and school and education problems. It also includes a breakdown of statistics for each UK nation.

12 October 2015
App-based psychological interventions: friend or foe?
Evidence Based Mental Health


There is no proof that 85% of the depression apps currently recommended by the NHS for patients to manage their condition actually work, say experts in the journal Evidence Based Mental Health. But the seal of approval from one of the world's leading healthcare systems may falsely reassure patients, many of whom are increasingly opting to fund their own treatment in the face of overstretched mental health services and the associated lengthy waits, they warn.

7 October 2015
Mindfulness-Based Therapy – Examining the Studies


So is there any hard evidence that mindfulness-based therapies work? Well, the clinical evidence for mindfulness as a way to prevent depression, stress and anxiety appears at first glance to be sound. A review of the eight-week course was published in 2011 in Clinical Psychology Review by Jacob Piet and Esben Hougaard of Aarhus University, Denmark.

29 September 2015
Are you a Head of Wellbeing?
Nuffield Health


Nuffield Health have announced they are partnering with Wood Green School in Oxfordshire to pilot a role of Head of Wellbeing.


This follows a report on the potential of the Head of Wellbeing in Secondary Schools with Health think tank 2020health. Our new pioneer case study looks at this pilot in more depth.

17 September 2015

Meet Ellie, the machine that can detect depression
Guardian sustainable business Business and wellbeing


Technology is an important channel to treat mental illness, but should we be worried about an age of virtual therapy when only our problems are real? But Ellie isn’t real. She’s a virtual interviewer created by a team of scientists at the Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) at the University of Southern California. She may be an avatar, but she’s great to talk to.

14 September 2015
What is mindfulness and what can it do for you?
Chartered Management Institute


“We find that mindfulness is a transformative practice, leading to a deeper understanding of how to respond to situations wisely,” the unlikely – but very real – Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) said after its eight-month inquiry into the potential for mindfulness training in key areas of public life – health, education, workplaces and the criminal justice system.

September 2015
Children's Mental Health and Psychological Wellbeing eBulletin
Public Health England


This monthly eBulletin aims to provide high quality, up-to-date information on children's psychological and emotional wellbeing and mental health. It summarises the latest additions to the Mental Health and Psychological Wellbeing Knowledge Hub on our website over the last month.

September 2015
Effectiveness of mindfulness in improving mental health symptoms of children and adolescents
Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health


A meta-analysis meta-analysis of Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) increasingly used in the management of various mental health disorders in children and adolescents. However, there is limited evidence about the efficacy ofvarious interventions used. Method: A systematic review was performed to examine the effects of differentMBIs on mental health symptoms and quality of life in both clinical and nonclinical samples of children andadolescents using data from only randomized control trials.

6 September 2015
Forgiveness: why it's the new mindfulness
The Telegraph


Within psychological circles, though, forgiveness is fast become something of a buzzword, with a growing body of scientific research indicating how transformative a process it can be for the injured party as well as the wrongdoer - lowering the risk of heart attack; improving cholesterol levels and sleep; reducing pain, blood pressure, levels of anxiety, depression and stress - and, conversely, how detrimental holding onto grievances can be. “There is an enormous physical burden to being hurt and disappointed,” says Dr Karen Swartz, director of the Mood Disorders Adult Consultation Clinic at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

1 September 2015
My 'Mental Health Manifesto' for Britain's schoolchildren
The Telegraph


The Government's first mental health champion, Natasha Devon, explains how she thinks schools and teachers should combat the mental illness epidemic affecting young people across the UK.


4. A Mental ‘Five A Day’
Everyone has a mental health, just as we all have a level of physical fitness. We’re all hyper-aware of the basic requirements to maintain the latter ... I’d begin with a minimum of two hours per day with one’s smart phone turned off and ten minutes per day in quiet contemplation/meditation.

26 August 2015
The Best Mindfulness Apps Ranked In One Chart


A growing body of research reveals that practising mindfulness offers a number of benefits. With at least 700 mobile apps that claim to help you be more mindful, picking one isn’t easy. A new study, however, sorted through hundreds of mindfulness apps and ranked them according to their features.

19 August 2015
School children in England are among the most unhappy in the world
The Children's Society


School children in England are among the most unhappy in the world, faring worse than those in Ethiopia, Algeria and Romania. English children ranked 14th out of 15 countries for overall life satisfaction, just ahead of South Korea, and scored low for aspects related to their "self" and school, according to research by the University of York in partnership with The Children's Society.


On average, 11% of children said they were dissatisfied with school life, with particularly poor relationships with teachers upon which England was ranked 14th out of the 15 countries. They were also unhappy about what they were learning (11th in the rankings).

16 July 2015
6,000 Schoolchildren To Get 'Mindfulness Training'
Sky News


Thousands will be monitored to see if the practice can help cut the risk of depression and other mental health problems.


A major study is being launched to find out if "mindfulness training" for schoolchildren can help cut the risk of depression and other mental health problems. Around 6,000 children between the ages of 11 and 14 from 76 schools will be monitored over five years.

2 July 2015
75% of mental health problems in adult life start by the age of 18
Department of Health


Minister of State for Community and Social Care, Alistair Burt, talks about his priorities for mental health at The Royal College of Psychiatrists International Congress.


I am committed to taking forward the vision set out in the government’s report of the Children’s and Young People Mental Health Taskforce, ‘Future in mind’.