Media and Research Diary: 2016
News and Research links for Mindfulness in Education
See left side link for the 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 & 2012 Media and Research entries
22 December 2016
Prof Dame Sue Bailey
The mental health and wellbeing of children and young people hit the headlines time and again in 2016. Even this week we have seen news that money promised to boost children’s mental health services is not getting through to the frontline. On the one hand the increased profile is welcome - greater awareness of the prevalence of mental health problems among children and young people creates pressure to invest in preventing them and putting in place appropriate support. However, on the other hand the constant flow of bad news also highlights how far we must still travel to deliver on both. Continued . . .
USA TIME Special Feature: The High Cost of Coping
Anxiety. Depression. Eating Disorders. Phobias. Every year tens of millions of Americans face a mental health challenge-often at great expense. Here's how to ease the financial strain.
22 December 2016
USA TIME Money Special Report
USA resources for when you or your family members have a mental health disorder that requires professional help. This is often at great expense and you’ll need to navigate a maze of treatment options, professional designations, insurance claims (and possibly appeals), and more. To get the help you need at a price you can afford. At the website of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, nami.org you can look up treatment options for more than a dozen disorders, from ADHD to schizophrenia, plus find discussion groups and support tips.
More and more states are requiring health insurers to cover telemedicine—doctor visits that are conducted by phone, text, or video link—and more companies are adding the service as an employee benefit. Almost all large employers will offer telemedicine over the next four years, according to a recent National Business Group on Health survey. Last year UnitedHealthcare, the nation’s largest insurer, announced that it would offer “virtual physician visits.” The Department of Veterans Affairs has invested $1 billion in tele-health.
8 November 2016
Local authorities in England spend “close to nothing” on mental health despite dedicating millions on improving physical health in their communities, according to the charity Mind. Less than one per cent of each local authority’s public health budget is spent on mental health on average, showed new data obtained by the organisation.
5 November 2016
Prince William has called on businesses large and small to take the mental health of their employees more seriously. Mental ill-health is the leading cause of absence in the UK, costing businesses nearly £26billion pounds each year – an average of over £1,000 per employee - the royal told a meeting of FTSE 100 company representatives.
22 November 2016
HRH The Duchess of Cambridge
Place2Be Wellbeing in Schools Awards
In a speech at the ceremony, The Duchess said: "I have been privileged over recent years to visit a number of schools and to meet the teachers, volunteers, and parents who make Place2Be's work a reality. Together, you ensure your students know they have somewhere to turn, someone who will listen, or simply a safe place to escape."
22 November 2016
Australian Financial Review
The survey will be across the four pillars: mind, which measures resilience, self-efficacy and self-esteem; body, which measures sleep, nutrition and exercise; purpose, which measures employees' sense of purpose and meaning at work; and place, which measures employees' perception of the workplace and its wellbeing programs and policies.
17 November 2016
Internet Governance Forum
We are looking at these areas and what help and advice is already out there. We want to see what more we need to do to improve how children and young people have the digital skills and emotional understanding to feel empowered to lead their digital lives safely. It’s very ambitious work and it is through such focused working groups that the UKCCIS Board is able to respond to new and emerging issues. We are also looking at new and emerging technology so we can assess if they will have an impact on children and young people’s safety.
16 November 2016
Harnessing technology to prevent mental health problems in schools.
The school is an ideal environment to deliver prevention programs at appropriate transitions.
7 November 2016
A review of brain imaging studies led by researchers at UC Berkeley and the University of British Columbia offers a new way of looking at spontaneous versus controlled thinking, challenging the adage that a wandering mind is an unhappy mind. It suggests that increased awareness of how our thoughts move when our brains are at rest could lead to better diagnoses and targeted treatments for such mental conditions as depression, anxiety, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
3 November 2016
Keeping a stress-free train of thought when travelling can be pretty much impossible, however help is now at hand courtesy of a new partnership between the Mental Health Foundation and Virgin Trains. Taking a cue from the Scandinavian trend for ‘slow television,’ the travel company and charity have created six meditative films featuring calming locations from across the UK to sit aboard Virgin Train’s new Be Mindful channel. Designed to help promote a more relaxed and positive state of mind, each location has been picked for their outstanding natural beauty and includes St Margaret’s Loch, Lake Windermere, the Yorkshire Dales and Loch Lomond.
3 November 2016
Attempts to create measures of national wellbeing and progress have a long history. In the UK, they go back at least as far as the 1790s, with Sir John Sinclair's Statistical Account of Scotland. More recently, worldwide interest has led to the creation of various indices seeking to go beyond familiar economic measures like gross domestic product. We review the ‘Measuring national well-being’ development programme of the UK's Office for National Statistics and explore some of the challenges which need to be faced to bring wider measures into use.
26 October 2016
Launch by Ernst & Young
The document is primarily intended as a resource for those developing a case for mindfulness training within their own organisation. It provides an updated summary of the research evidence, case studies and a range of toolkits to help with programme planning, implementation and evaluation. The document has been developed by a volunteer working group convened by the Mindfulness Initiative and made up of leading workplace mindfulness trainers, researchers and representatives from private sector employers such as GE, BT, RBS, HSBC, GSK, EY, Jaguar Landrover and 18 Feet and Rising.
23 October 2016
More than 4,000 teachers are now qualified in meditation exercises to combat pupil stress. “If your mind wanders away, let’s notice where it goes,” says Kerstin Andlaw, in a soothing voice. “Then bring your attention back to your breathing.” The pupils are practising mindfulness, a way of making them stop, relax and “be”.
Classes like this used to be the preserve of independent schools, but this year more state than private schools have signed up to mindfulness classes, both at secondary and primary level. According to the Mindfulness in Schools Project, there are 1,350 teachers being trained in the technique this year, double the number taught last year and up from 90 in 2011.
17 October 2016
Teaching Mindfulness in Schools - Toolkit
'Teaching Mindfulness in Schools' is a must-have resource for teachers and other professionals concerned with the social and emotional wellbeing of children. The book offers a clear introduction to the topic, as well as a wealth of practical information and tools to support the teaching of mindfulness in the classroom. The pack includes a storybook to read one on one with a child or for whole class teaching (an electronic version is provided for use on whiteboards), worksheets, sample lesson plans and colouring sheets. Audio for a range of guided mindfulness exercises is also available via the website, narrated by the author.
Dr Rowan Williams talks on Christian Meditation with Children
17 October 2016
With exam stress mounting and the ever-present pressures of social media, experts warn young people are increasingly at risk of developing serious mental health problems. But now the North East will “pave the way” for the rest of the country as schools work together to make life better for students. With a top national expert at the helm, a unique new partnership between the region’s educators aims to tackle head-on the unique challenges of maintaining youngsters’ mental well-being. Professor Dame Sue Bailey, current chair of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition and formerly the president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, has agreed to lead the initiative — the first of its kind in this country.
17 October 2016
Across the United States, up to one in five children suffers from a mental disorder in a given year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This equates to more than 17 million young people who meet criteria for disorders that affect their ability to learn, behave, and express their emotions. Giving children access to mental-health resources early in their education, however, can play a key role in mitigating negative consequences later in life, said David Anderson, the senior director of the ADHD and Behavior Disorders Center at the Child Mind Institute.
15 October 2016
Professionals outside education are “horrified” by the paltry training that teachers receive about mental illnesses in
young people, claims a mental health charity.
Hannah Kinsey, training and consultancy manager at YoungMinds, told delegates at a Westminster Education Forum event in London on Tuesday how the scarcity “shocked” people. “I recently did some work with the air cadets, for example, who were horrified to know that teachers get such little training about mental health. They couldn’t believe it.”
10 October 2016
First resource launched to measure and monitor children and young people’s wellbeing in UK schools and colleges
Public Health England
This World Mental Health Day the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families (AFNCCF) in partnership with Public Health England (PHE) launch a toolkit for schools and colleges to support the measurement and monitoring of children and young people’s mental wellbeing. Dr. Jessica Deighton led the development of the toolkit in collaboration with the Child Outcomes Research Consortium (CORC) and Common Room. With half of all diagnosable mental health disorders established by the age of 14, there is a strong case to promote children and young people’s mental health. Schools and college environments are a vital part of children and young people’s support system and are increasingly recognised as key sites to help promote pupil mental wellbeing. Up until now, school teams and support staff have not had clear information about robust, evidence-based tools to help them measure and monitor wellbeing.
4 October 2016
The 2016 Lancet Early Childhood Development Series highlights early childhood development at a time when it has been universally endorsed in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. This Series considers new scientific evidence for interventions, building on the findings and recommendations of previous Lancet Series on child development (2007, 2011), and proposes pathways for implementation of early childhood development at scale. The Series emphasises 'nurturing care', especially of children below three years of age, and multi-sectoral interventions starting with health, which can have wide reach to families and young children through health and nutrition.
29 September 2016
Health and wellbeing is one of the eight curricular areas in curriculum for excellence. Its substantial importance is reflected in its position at the centre of the curriculum and at the heart of children’s learning, as well as in the fact that it is a central focus of the Scottish attainment challenge and the national improvement framework for education. Along with literacy and numeracy, health and wellbeing is one of the three core areas that are the responsibility of all staff in schools. Children and young people should feel happy, safe, respected and included in the learning environment, and all staff should be proactive in promoting positive relationships and behaviour in the classroom, playground and wider learning community.
Journal of Transformative Education
Dr. Jack Miller, University of Toronto provides his perspective on the articles featured in this issue, especially as they relate to his broader understanding of the field of contemplative education and their interrelationship to transformative education and transformative learning. This issue contains 9 papers published in the Journal for Transformative Education during the past 11 years. These years have seen significant growth and expansion in the field, particularly in the area of mindfulness.
Although two papers in this collection focus on mindfulness, as a whole, these papers deal with a diverse set of issues related to contemplative education.
6 September 2016
On Tuesday September 6th, Nik Dakin MP, one of the vice-chairs of the Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group, secured a 30-minute 'adjournment debate' on Mindfulness in Schools.
In response to Nic Dakin's speech, the Govt. Minister Edward Timpson MP said: "I have been interested for a while in how mindfulness can be used to help children and young people to focus their attention and develop their concentration skills—a real problem for many youngsters at a much younger age than ever before. I have also been struck by the testimony of many teachers and pupils—we have heard more of that today—who have adopted this approach and found that they are calmer, more fulfilled and better able to deal with stress and anxiety."
31 August 2016
Tara García Mathewson
Researchers are collecting data about a range of student outcomes in 16 Chicago schools. Illinois was the first state to require social-emotional learning in all of its schools, setting statewide standards and benchmarks for districts to incorporate at all grade levels. Even now, in a state that went the entire 2015-16 fiscal year without a budget and in a city toeing the line of financial disaster, Chicago Public Schools remains committed to the value of social-emotional learning. And with the help of Amanda Moreno, an assistant professor at the Erikson Institute, 16 schools are taking that commitment a step farther. Moreno is the principal investigator for a multi-year mindfulness-based intervention in Chicago Public Schools, where 16 schools are implementing mindfulness techniques and 14 schools are serving as a control group.
23 August 2016
“Release” Original Film on Middle School Anxiety
“Release” is the 2nd in our series of Mindful Shorts, and it focuses on stress and anxiety as experienced by middle school kids. 70% of middle school students today report feeling “stressed out” — an alarming figure, and a sign that something must be done to help kids manage the sense of overwhelm and frustration they experience so that they can blossom into young adults who are equipped to navigate their way through life's challenges in a positive, productive way. We hope this film in some small way helps not just kids, but everyone who suffers from the toxic effects of stress and anxiety.
20 August 2016
Six partnerships across England will enable young people to cope better and seek early support with their problems and worries before they become more serious mental health issues, the Big Lottery Fund is announcing today. HeadStart brings together partnerships of young people, charities, health commissioners, parents, teachers, GPs and local authorities in Blackpool, Cornwall, Hull, Kent, Newham and Wolverhampton. The initiative will help 10-16 year-olds feel they have support in school, the community and at home, as well as tackling the stigma associated with mental health.
This ground-breaking book opens up new approaches to the religious and spiritual education of children. It presents the results of an extended pilot project in a school system in a way that can enlighten teachers and parents in meeting the spiritual needs of children in our confused and troubled world.
Based on the professional experience of the Catholic Education Office of the Diocese of Townsville, Australia, it has already begun to inspire schools and families worldwide. The great discovery behind this program of teaching Christian meditation to children from age 5 – 17 is that children can meditate and that they like to meditate.
15 August 2016
Our culture wears busyness like a badge of honor. Here's why you should do less—and feel good about it. Schulte speaks with Ann Burnett, a communications professor at North Dakota State University, who studied “the rise of American busyness” through holiday letters she’s collected dating back to the 1960s. In the letters, words like “hectic” and “consumed” started to surface by the 1970s and 80s. Burnette says busyness is a form of competition and a status symbol—”If you’re busy, you’re important” she tells Schulte.
4 August 2016
New York mayor Bill de Blasio’s new programme of mental health spending is impressive in its scale, leadership and depth of resources, and could provide a lesson for central and local government leaders in the UK.
The programme, Thrive, comes with a New York Mental Health Roadmap for the city that states its ambitious aims: “It is our goal to not only reduce the toll of mental illness, but also promote mental health and protect New Yorkers’ resiliency, self-esteem, family strength and joy.”
26 July 2016
The Mail Online
Your children can now enjoy fun, engaging activities that teach them the basics of mindfulness. They’ll practice breathing exercises, visualizations and even try some focus-based meditation. Of course, different exercises work best for different ages so we’ve customized the sessions for three age groups: 5 and under, 6-8 and 9-12.
Foundation media quote for Lifestyle | The
Huffington Post UK
"Given young children’s obsession with technology and Headspaces' first class reputation we believe this meditation app for under-5s could be the answer to many parent’s prayers. Educationally, focus
and concentration are two of the most important skills to achieve success in life and meditation is one of the most powerful of all enhancement practices!"
19 July 2016
The Weekly Times
THIS issue of Education magazine contains some attention-grabbing statistics which paint an unsettling picture of the challenges facing Australia’s young people.
More than 25 per cent of young people battle mental disorders, 56 per cent don’t meet physical activity guidelines and one in 10 experience cyberbullying, according to government and academic reports. But, an army of principals, teachers and counsellors are fighting to decrease these stats through wellbeing and mindfulness programs — the theme of this issue of Education.
11 July 2016
Meditation is just one strand of new “positive education” methods starting to build momentum and gravitas in schools. The key idea is to teach good practices such as mindfulness and gratitude that will promote resilience and, it is thought, help children lead healthier psychological lives.
Faculty of Public Health
This report focuses on what can be done individually and collectively to enhance the mental health of individuals, families and communities by using a public health approach. It is intended as a resource for public health practitioners to support the development of knowledge and skills in public mental health. It presents the latter from the perspective of those working within public health, giving valuable interdisciplinary perspectives that focus on achieving health gains across the population.
24 June 2016
Oxford Mindfulness Centre
MYRIAD are investigating how schools prepare young people to improve resilience and manage their emotional health in this research project based in the UK. If you are a Headteacher, Teacher who wants to know more or are already involved in the project.
10 June 2016
A QUIET revolution is under way in Australian schools. The days of dishing out detentions to students for doing the wrong thing are numbered, as more and more schools turn to positive education, mindfulness and strength-based teaching. It’s enough to make traditionalists harrumph in despair with the familiar cry: “It wasn’t like that when I was at school and I turned out all right.
Finland may be on to something very big. You could be seeing the very beginnings of using silence as a selling point as silence may be becoming more and more attractive.
As the world around becomes increasingly loud and cluttered you may find yourself seeking out the reprieve that silent places and silence have to offer. This may be a wise move as studies are showing that silence is much more important to your brains than you might think.
16 May 2016
If we are going to successfully tackle the big rise in mental health problems, then we must start in childhood. Half of all mental health problems have begun by the age of 14, and three children in every classroom now have a diagnosable condition, such as anxiety or depression. But while the number of children and young people experiencing mental health problems has increased in recent years, ‘early intervention’ services based in the community have been scaled back as a result of cuts to council budgets. These services perform a vital role in preventing emerging mental health problems from developing into more serious conditions. But without them, problems can go untreated, which increases the pressure on specialist NHS services further down the line.
16 May 2016
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, alongside Prince Harry, have today launched their new campaign ‘Heads Together’ which will focus on reducing the stigma surrounding mental health - one punch at a time. The royals are spreading the important message that physical fitness plays a huge role in boosting mental wellbeing. ‘Heads Together’ w ill be the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon Charity of the Year, with hundreds of runners representing the campaign to raise awareness of mental health and raise vital funds for the mental health charities.
9 May 2016
Positive Psychology with Martin Seligman
Founder of Positive Psychology, Martin Seligman, shares his groundbreaking ideas and PERMA model of wellbeing to help us flourish as individuals and contribute to a happier world. Also discussed were the Alejandro Adler Global National Happiness GNH Curriculum Experiments to assess whether teaching wellbeing increases academic achievement. These GNHC PERMA studies have been carried out with 8,000 school children in Bhutan, 68,000 children in Mexico and 700,000 children in Peru. This talk was recorded at an Action for Happiness event at Friends House in London on 9 May 2016 www.actionforhappiness.org
Ryan E. Yip, Ph.D.
Great article about the ROI of mindfulness programs in business citing the success of Genentech with their Personal Excellence Program. The impact on employees is impressive.
23 April 2016
Before Paul became ill, words such as depressed and anxiety were not often heard at home. “We just weren’t that sort of family. It was not the sort of language we used in the house,” his mother, Claire, said. “My husband and I are self-employed, we work hard and when we have problems we just get on with it.”
It has been something of a shock, then, for the couple to find themselves trying to care for a nine-year-old child with a serious mental illness . . .
15 April 2016
The two organizations have established a new alliance that aims to make early childhood development a global policy, programming and public spending priority, to give all young children access to quality services that improve their health, nutrition, learning ability and emotional well-being. Advances in neuroscience and recent economic studies show that early childhood experiences have a profound impact on brain development and on subsequent learning, health, and adult earnings. Children who are poorly nourished and nurtured, or those who do not receive early stimulation, are likely to learn less in school and earn less as adults.
31 March 2016
We love that mental health is making a comeback — especially when it means that people are finally starting to talk about anxiety. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety affects just over 18 percent of American adults, making it the most common mental illness in the country. Unfortunately, as much as we’d love to use coloring books for stress or practice stress relieving yoga poses, anxiety doesn’t always have our feelings in mind and often hits when we’re not safe and cozy at home. For anyone dealing with anxiety on-the-go, we’ve got 12 apps that will help you find a little more zen throughout your busy day.
12 March 2016
In 2015 the meditation and mindfulness industry raked in nearly $1 billion, according to research by IBISWorld, which breaks out the category from the alternative health care sector. But even that doesn’t count the revenue from the nearly 1000 mindfulness apps now available, according to Sensor Tower (top app Headspace recently raised $30 million and has been downloaded 6 million times), or the burgeoning category of wearable gadgets designed to help people Zen out (the popular Muse connected headband measures brain activity during meditation for $299).
10 March 2016
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. Hannah, 14, says students wanted to establish whether mindfulness meditation could help. "We wanted to find out how it could be beneficial for our GCSEs and help us in situations where we might be very stressed.".
3 March 2016
Harper Collins Publishers
The Miracle of Mindfulness is one of the Four Pillars of Health to enhance her well-being. “Kate Hudson’s Pretty Happy is a smart, insightful and realistic primer for making healthy habits part of your everyday life.
I met Kate in person, and judging by my impression of her, she must be doing things right. From exercise to mindfulness to knowing what your body really needs to thrive, she pushes you to throw away your ideas around perfection and find your own Pretty Happy.”—Alejandro Junger, New York Times bestselling author of Clean, Clean Gut, and Clean Eats
29 February 2016
The Irish Times
One of the great imponderables of human society is how much of our religion, psychology, philosophy and art through the millennia has been dedicated to the understanding and amelioration of suffering rather than the promotion of happiness.
Seligman’s theories about wellbeing and positive psychology have made him one of the world’s best-known and most popular psychologists – his lecture in the Edmund Burke Library at Trinity College Dublin last month was a ticket-only affair and was oversubscribed.
17 February 2016
It is well known that there is a disparity in resources between physical and mental health. But it’s not only in funding that mental health lags behind, it’s also in approach. As efforts to improve cancer survival rates show, care and treatment in physical health has for decades focused on preventing and diagnosing physical problems early. This approach must be mirrored in mental health.
However, the focus of the debate on mental health is mostly on acute care, as was seen last week when Lord Crisp published his independent commission report. This is understandable: it is a real problem that needs to be resolved. But the lack of access to acute mental health services is a symptom of the mental health crisis, not its cause. The cause is the failure to prevent, where possible, mental health problems from developing in the first place.
15 February 2016
With a strong focus on prevention, the Mental Health Taskforce report could prove pivotal in creating a mentally healthier nation. It is well known that there is a disparity in resources between physical and mental health.
But it’s not only in funding that mental health lags behind, it’s also in approach. As efforts to improve cancer survival rates show, care and treatment in physical health has for decades focused on preventing and diagnosing physical problems early. This approach must be mirrored in mental health.The taskforce report hits home when it says “prevention matters – it’s the only way that change can be achieved”. Beyond the economic cost of £105bn a year, poor mental health is destroying lives. Providing the right range of support, including prevention, can turn the tide of the mental health crisis.
9 February 2016
The guided meditations are all part of a fast growing trend in education, where more schools are providing mindfulness exercises to students and teachers in response to the enormous pressures students are facing.
The drive to get good grades and gain acceptance into elite colleges, combined with participation on sports teams and other after-school activities, and hours of homework mix together to make teenagers the most stressed group of people in America when school is in session, according to a 2014 American Psychological Association survey.
26 January 2016
Cambridge is not the only university to think mindfulness could help. Last month Aberystwyth announced plans to become “the UK’s first mindful university”. It has been liaising with student support on using mindfulness to promote general health rather than just as a response to ill health, and has also run taster sessions for administrative staff on using it to improve their work-life balance. It is now hoping to train mindfulness ambassadors in departments to run their own lunchtime and taster sessions for students and staff.