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

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
CYPMHC submission to HSC Inquiry role of[...]
Microsoft Word document [222.0 KB]

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." 


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.