Media & Research Diary: 2017

News and Research links for Mindfulness in Education

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

4 December 2017

Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision: a green paper

Department of Health & Department for Education


The government is asking people for their views on a green paper setting out measures to improve mental health support for children and young people.


The green paper focuses on earlier intervention and prevention, especially in and linked to schools and colleges.

Every school and college will be encouraged to appoint a designated lead for mental health.


November 2017

Online mental health support for young people

Education Policy Institute


This report prepared for mental health service provider XenZone by EPI, reviews the current literature on online counselling. Through an analysis of local data, it also assesses how young people respond to the Kooth model, an online counselling and emotional wellbeing platform, before setting out recommendations for further research.

30 November 2017

Children’s mental health statistics have been included in NHS Digital’s annual Mental Health Bulletin for the first time.


The report includes a breakdown of statistics on the number of kids and young people who have been referred to NHS-funded secondary mental health, autism and learning disabilities services in England. 


Out of the 2.6 million people known to have been referred to these three services in 2016/17, 556,790 were under 18. 

14 November 2017

Measuring mental wellbeing to improve the lives of children and young people

CORC in partnership with the Anna Freud Learning Network​


This free eLearning aims to increase the awareness, understanding and confidence of non-specialist and school staff who support the wellbeing and mental health of children or young people to access the benefits associated with measuring mental wellbeing. It aims to demystify and simplify the whole process of using outcomes and feedback measures to monitor mental wellbeing and is laid out in six easy to follow parts:

  1. Understanding mental wellbeing

  2. Introduction to outcome measures

  3. The benefits of measuring mental wellbeing

  4. Selecting and using measures

  5. Best practice using measures

  6. Using and interpreting data

This interactive course features engaging activities and quizzes to illustrate how staff can choose and use measures to monitor wellbeing and how to analyse wellbeing information to drive improvement and demonstrate effectiveness.

6 November 2017

Mental Health Petition debated in Parliament


Chris Ruane MP: I want to stress the impact that I believe mindfulness can have. Mindfulness has been freely available on the national health service since 2004. Some people might think that it is a bit woolly, but the copper-bottomed science has been proven to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence by Professor Mark Williams, John Teasdale and Zindel Segal from Canada. Mindfulness has been available, but the take-up is minimal.


The science has been proven for this intervention, which puts the individual in control and is cheaper in the long term than antidepressants or talking therapies, yet the take-up has been minimal. Again, I pay tribute to the Government, because they have promised to train an extra 200 or 300 mindfulness-based teachers over the next two years, and that is progress. We have been teaching mindfulness to MPs, peers, their staff and civil servants in Westminster.

20 October 2017

Green paper on children's mental health will be published before Christmas

Schools Week​


The preceding joint Commons report, ‘Children and young people’s mental health — the role of education’, was first published on May 2, 2017, following an inquiry that began in December last year. It found that schools were struggling to provide time and resources for pupils’ well-being, and mental health services such as in-school counsellors were facing cutbacks. At the same time, it noted that half of all cases of mental illness start before the age of 15 and that one in 10 children aged between five and 16 has had a diagnosed mental disorder.

17 October 2017

Promoting Mindfulness

International MP Conference


“Mindfulness is not a universal panacea but it certainly can help in the fight against the epidemic of mental illness in the western world.”


Media Coverage


13 October 2017

Measuring Wellbeing

"The government should make it compulsory for schools to measure wellbeing."  Gus O’Donnell


“If there were one thing Justine should be doing, it’s saying to Theresa May that doing this would make a difference,” he said. The “fact that Ofsted aren’t measuring wellbeing” is astonishing, he added. “So what’s it all about, then? We’re too obsessed by GDP and exam results.”

A dangerous wait: Colleges can’t meet soaring student needs for mental health care

from the Melinda Gates, Washington Post article

I spent my career in technology. I wasn’t prepared for its effect on my kids.


“You’re making sure people are safe in the moment,” said Ben Locke, who runs a national college counselling network and directs counselling services at Pennsylvania State University. “But you’re not treating the depression or the panic attacks or the eating disorders.”

10 October 2017

World Mental Health Day

The Royal Foundation invests £2 million to back digital solutions for mental health


This new digital startup will bring together experts in mental health and technology to find and create new solutions. We want to use the power of technology to reach the millions of people, especially young people, who feel isolated and alone, and help them to find the right place to talk.

Primary prevention, early intervention and mental health provision, The Child & Family Clinical Psychology Review, No 5 (Autumn 2017) free to download


With a Green Paper on children and young people’s mental health being published later this year, which will have a focus on mental health and schools, reviewing what the role of psychological services in schools might be, and how psychologists can be involved in the debate over the design of what services could look like is crucial to inform the shaping of future Government policy in this area. 

20 September 2017

GovConnect Mental Health Conference

Dr. Rohini Vijaygopal – The Mindfulness Foundation


Mental health problems are the single largest cause of disability in the UK. The cost to the economy is £105 billion in a year. This has triggered the putting together of a five year forward view for mental health for transforming the mental health care in England. The main goal of this conference was to make sure that the foundations for the implementation of the 5 year forward view of mental health are in place such that they benefit people of age groups, also catering to their specific needs.

18 September 2017

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge has launched a campaign to promote mental health in schools
Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families


The campaign kicks off with an animation co-produced by children and teachers and includes an introduction from HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, who is Patron of the charity. The animation is accompanied by free teaching materials designed to help children learn the life-long skills to help them talk about ‘big’ and ‘small’ feelings, and how to listen to their friends when they need to talk. The materials are available here.

12 September 2017

Applying ancient solutions to modern problems

Lou Lou Rose


A recent study by Richard Layard at the London School of Economics suggests that emotional wellbeing in childhood is more important to an adult’s satisfaction levels than academic success or wealth. 

It’s Always There by Lou Lou Rose is the first book in a new series that addresses the rise in young children’s anxiety and stress in a practical and helpful way.

September 2017

Mental Health News Round Up

Young Minds


  • Teachers' warning on inadequate mental health provision

  • Girls feel pressure of online ‘perfection’, poll finds

  • Stressed out GCSE pupils needs more mental health help

  • Students should be given compulsory lessons on mental health and wellbeing, urge researchers

7 September 2017

Cultivating Mindfulness for Educators Using Resources from
The New York Times


We don’t normally run “lesson plans” for teachers and school leaders, but we thought mindfulness for educators was a perfect topic for the start of a new school year.


Below, you’ll find practical strategies compiled by Alison Cohen, a certified mindfulness teacher and secondary school leadership and instructional coach, for bringing mindfulness into your life both inside and outside the classroom to support your own well-being and, in turn, the well-being of the young people in your care. She ends the post with resources for introducing students to mindfulness too.

August 2017
With AI, our words will be a window into our mental health
IBM Research


In five years, what we say and write will be used as indicators of our mental health and physical wellbeing. Patterns in our speech and writing analyzed by new cognitive systems will provide tell-tale signs of early-stage developmental disorders, mental illness and degenerative neurological diseases that can help doctors and patients better predict, monitor and track these conditions.

25 August 2017

Children's mental health: it’s time to put wellbeing on the curriculum

The Guardian


We are currently writing a syllabus that will raise the educational wellbeing bar. Our next step is to produce a syllabus for a GCSE in wellbeing, in which teenagers will be taught half a dozen modules and build a portfolio of personal growth.


The GCSE will have a strong academic underpinning and modules will include positive psychology (the science of happiness), resilience and relationships. It will also place an emphasis on learning a variety of techniques including mindfulness.


22 August 2017

Therapy by app is just as good as the human touch

The Times


Therapy provided by apps or over email is as good as face-to-face care for treating conditions such as anxiety and phobias, the review found. Children and teenagers actually did better when treated by computer.


Researchers from Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane suggested that automated therapy should be used as a standard treatment instead of more expensive professional help. However, campaigners insisted that people should not be denied face-to-face treatment.


21 August 2017

Use big data to get patients the mental healthcare they need

Quartet Health


Quartet Health, a behavioural health technology company backed by Google Ventures that has worked with major insurers like Humana and Premera Blue Cross, is embarking on its first large-scale partnership with a provider organization: California’s Sutter Health.


17 August 2017

Cultivating Mindfulness with Third Grade Students via Classroom-Based Interventions

Contemporary School Psychology


Forty-five third grade students, from six different classrooms at a local elementary school, participated in our 3-year study. We delivered three 30-min classroom lessons on mindfulness using a curriculum that included modified lessons from the Mindful Schools and MindUp curricula as well as material we developed.


17 August 2017

More than 100,000 teenagers a year to get mental health training to help them cope with exam stress

The Telegraph


More than 100,000 teenagers a year will be given mental health training to help them cope with the pressure of exam and build up their self-esteem, the Prime Minister announces today.

Theresa May will unveil plans to make a new mental health awareness course part of the National Citizen Service programme for teenagers in a bid to reduce the levels of depression and anxiety. Mental health issues disproportionately affect young people, with over half of mental health problems starting by the age of 14 and 75 per cent by the age of 18. The course will be developed with mental health experts and NCS graduates and be delivered as part of the organisation’s programme to prepare young people for the challenges of adult life and work.

On measuring the number of vulnerable children

Children’s Commissioner for England


  • Over half a million children so vulnerable that the state has to step in

  • 670,000 children in England growing up in ‘high risk’ family situations

  • Thousands of children living with adults in treatment for drink or drugs

  • 800,000 children suffering from mental health difficulties

  • Tens of thousands of children involved with gangs

  • Over a thousand new child victims of slavery each year

6 August 2017

We’re failing our young people on mental health provision

High Court Judge Sir James Munby


The increasing levels of mental health problems and suicides among young people must raise difficult questions about their emotional and material status in families, schools, communities and society. In the words of Sir James Munby: “Have we a right to call ourselves civilised?”

4 August 2017

Artificial Intelligence to help fight anxiety and depression

Karn Kumar


Mindstrong is founded by the former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, Dr. Thomas Insel along with many others who have created a program that can be easily installed on a smartphone in order to diagnose users who are facing emotional problems. The program created by Mindstrong essentially makes use of several personal details such as a person’s biometric data including his/her pulse and activity levels, in order to come to a conclusion regarding their mental situation.

18 July 2017

The Science of Meditation

Dan Goleman


The definitive book on the science of meditation. Rigorously researched and deeply illuminating, The Science of Meditation is a must-read for anyone interested in the hidden potential of the human mind (Daniel Gilbert, PhD, author of the 'New York bestseller 'Stumbling on Happiness')

6 July 2017

Schools (Mental Health and Wellbeing) Bill

Baroness Tyler of Enfield


The First Reading of a Bill to make provision for state-maintained schools to promote the mental health and well-being of their pupils alongside academic attainment.


Download the briefing paper

27 June 2017

Mental Health First Aid training

Prime Minister's Office


The government has pledged that every secondary school in the country will be offered Mental Health First Aid training by 2020. The government’s pledge to transform mental health services for young people has taken an important step forward with teachers and staff across the country starting training to identify and respond to early signs of mental health problems among pupils.

21 June 2017

Global Access to Healthcare Index

Dr. Rohini Vijaygopal


The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has created the Global Access to Healthcare Index. It measures how healthcare systems across 60 countries with a diversity of income levels are working to solve the most pressing healthcare needs of their population. The index looks at access to specific kinds of care to find an answer to the key question: in a country, do people have access to appropriate health services?

21 June 2017

Implementation Matters: Mindfulness in Schools

Stephanie Wilde MYRIAD


The 'how' of bringing mindfulness into schools - a blog by Stephanie Wilde, Qualitative Researcher for the MYRIAD project.


Research and experience shows that how mindfulness is implemented in schools is just as important as why it is implemented (e.g. to improve resilience and well-being amongst young people) and what is implemented (the content and delivery of mindfulness programmes in schools).

8 June 2017

Happy Teachers Change the World

Cultivating Mindfulness in Education


Happy Teachers Change the World is the first official, authoritative manual of the Thich Nhat Hanh/Plum Village approach to mindfulness in education. Spanning the whole range of schools and grade levels, from preschool through higher education, these techniques are grounded in the everyday world of schools, colleges, and universities.

11 May 2017

USA Teacher Health and Wellness Act

Congressman Tim Ryan


This legislation provides support for teachers by creating a pilot study at the National Institute of Health aimed at reducing teacher stress, increasing teacher health and ultimately boosting student achievement. High levels of stress are adversely affecting teachers’ health. Teachers with high levels of stress are less effective in raising student achievement than their healthier peers. According to a 2014 Gallup survey, 46 percent of teachers experience high daily stress during the school year.

11 May 2017

Every school should have a therapist, says happiness expert



Lord Layard also wants government to assess how much value schools add to pupils’ happiness Every school should have an on-site therapist, according to one of the country’s leading economists and wellbeing experts. Lord Layard, director of the wellbeing programme at the London School of Economics’ Centre for Economic Performance.

9 May 2017

Bringing happiness . . .

School House Magazine


"Bringing happiness to others leads to a much deeper sense of fulfilment than any A grade" – Sir Anthony Seldon


Good health and wellbeing is essential for successful learning. Here are the schools championing and developing a sustainable approach to improving emotional and spiritual resilience.

13 April 2017

Mindfulness for 12,000 students

Aetna Foundation


Bringing daily guided mindfulness practices to 15 schools and over 12,000 students in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, Florida, is the goal of The Aetna Foundation and Inner Explorer.


Daily mindfulness practices have already been shown to increase math, science and reading performance by 10-18%, reduce student behavioral issues by nearly 60%, and reduce teacher stress by 43%. The program helps students develop life-long skills of focus, self-control, and resilience while giving teachers more time to engage and inspire students – a combination of benefits that has contributed to an 11-15% increase in students’ grade point average (GPA).

27 March 2017

Mental Health Services​

Secretary of State for Education


Children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing is a priority for this Government and we know that schools, colleges and universities can play an important role in promoting good mental wellbeing at all times during the academic cycle.


We are also undertaking a programme of randomised control trials of promising preventative programmes that support positive mental health, as well as launching a programme of activity on peer support.

15 March 2017

Schools using Mindfulness to Improve Wellbeing



Guernsey's government wants all schools to be using it as an ethos in the future. Schools in the Channel Islands are teaching mindfulness meditation to students, to improve well being and performance.


Mindfulness meditation is clinically proven to help with depression and has been used by the NHS for more than a decade. Studies have also found it helps children to concentrate more, sleep better and reduce bullying and other disruptive behaviour.

12 March 2017

Schools to trial happiness lessons for eight-year-olds

The Department for Education (DfE) 


The Department for Education (DfE) is inviting bidders for multimillion-pound contracts to offer mental health training in more than 200 schools.


Typical mindfulness lessons will reportedly encourage children to think of disturbing thoughts as “buses” that will move away, and they will be given questionnaires on bullying and friends.

Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance



This Mooc is based on the idea that everyone can benefit from mindfulness — a practice involving focusing on the present — in both their professional and their personal lives. The course comprises a series of training exercises intended to promote awareness, relaxation, wellbeing and improved performance. Since its launch in 2015, it has attracted 190,000 learners. The Mooc ran three times in 2016, with a total of 110,000 enrolments. The next course begins on May 15. Time commitment Six weeks with a workload of three hours a week.

February 2017
Mindfulness in the Media from the Mindfulness Initiative


Click to see a few of the media pieces covering mindfulness in the last two months from the following categories: 

  • Health & Lifestyle

  • Education

  • Workplace

  • Criminal Justice System

  • Politics and Society

  • Digital and Tech

28 February 2017

The Role of Mindfulness in Reducing the Adverse Effects of Childhood Stress and Trauma

Children 2017​


Abstract: Research suggests that many children are exposed to adverse experiences in childhood. Such adverse childhood exposures may result in stress and trauma, which are associated with increased morbidity and mortality into adulthood. In general populations and trauma-exposed adults, mindfulness interventions have demonstrated reduced depression and anxiety, reduced trauma-related symptoms, enhanced coping and mood, and improved quality of life. Studies in children and youth also demonstrate that mindfulness interventions improve mental, behavioral, and physical outcomes.

24 February 2017

Mindfulness to help children's mental wellbeing in schools

BBC News


Over 5,000 teachers in the UK have been trained to teach mindfulness, according to the Mindfulness Initiative, and that number is growing all the time. It's a meditation technique being used to help pupils improve their mental well-being. Tallulah Berry went to visit one primary school in London to find out from the pupils themselves how it makes them feel.

Back to School Meditations

Smiling Mind


As we know, the new school year can be a stressful time with a lot going on. That's why we've teamed up with ABC Radio to create some FREE brand new back to school meditations. These short 2-minute meditations are tailored for students 7+, teachers and parents.

It has now been four years since a mindfulness training programme was established in the UK Parliament. Since then over 145 MPs and Members of the House of Lords, and 250 of their staff, have been on an eight-week course and many make use of a weekly drop-in class . We're starting to hear from parliamentarians that mindfulness practice has made a profound impact on their personal and professional lives, and has fostered new types of relationships in Westminster. As Labour Peer and former MP Lord Alan Howarth puts it, “The mindfulness group is an oasis of trust and friendship – something very important in our adversarial politics. It is a very great help for my focus, my energy, my perspective, my sense of proportion and balance.” , , , ​Continued 

From Research to Action

Harvard Graduate School of Education


A new report from the Center on the Developing Child (CDC) at Harvard University offers operational guidance for social workers, educators, and other caregivers — helping them use the science of child development as a framework for providing the support and services children need in the moment and the tools for continued success.

6 February 2017

50,819 youngsters contacted Childline in 2016​

The Guardian


Charities are calling for improved mental health provision in schools as new figures reveal more than 50,000 children and young people contacted Childline last year seeking help for serious mental health problems. The helpline has seen a 36% rise over four years in youngsters needing help for depression and other disorders, while there was also a rise in the number of youngsters feeling suicidal.

21 January 2017

Mindfulness at Ballet School



There were around 60 students in each group which lasted for around one hour. The first session with 11 & 12 took place in an informal assembly type setting in the school theatre. Very quickly all the students were on the stage sitting on the floor and enjoying the opportunity to practice in the meditation posture. Generally on school visits I advise students to sit in a chair but as they are all so flexible due to their ballet training there was no problem to sit on the floor. We engaged in a series of practices.

Summary and Recommendations to the Inquiry on the Role of Education in Children and Young People’s Mental Health​

There needs to be a better balance between attainment and wellbeing in schools. A good education is a protective factor for mental health, and good mental health helps you get a good education - so it is a virtuous circle. Most schools understand this but aren’t really rewarded for their work to support their pupils’ mental health.


DfE to recommend that schools strive towards a better balance in the curriculum, which incorporates mental health and wellbeing within PSHE lessons or the wider curriculum.


Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition’s Submission
Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition’s Submission to the Inquiry on the Role of Education in Children and Young People’s Mental Health

20 January 2017

The Future is Mental Wellness

Global Wellness News​


Predicted to be the biggest future trend of all, thanks to an “alarming mental wellness crisis”, the Global Wellness Institute argues that spas, fitness studios, workplaces and governments will start putting more emphasis on helping consumers to tackle stress, depression and anxiety.

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." 


The Burning Injustice of Mental Illness

9 January 2017

Theresa May, Prime Minister sets out her vision to transform mental health support. On Video this part of the speech starts at location 19 minutes and 20 seconds. 



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.

4 January 2017

Oxbridge now recognises the importance of mental health - it's time for the rest to follow suit

The Telegraph​


A recent Freedom of Information request revealed how much a number of our institutions – including those in the prestigious Russell Group – spend on mental health services for each student annually. Of the 40 institutions surveyed, one huge disparity is apparent: Oxford tops the table, with £48.25 per head, while Cambridge comes in as a close second at £40.48. The University of Central Lancashire, meanwhile, spends a pitiful £4.64, while my own university, Warwick, ranked shamefully low in 33rd place, its expenditure of £11.92 per student annually being the worst performing in the Russell Group universities listed.