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Mindfulness for Mental Health Resilience

Mindfulness for Mental Health Resilience

Havering Council | Special Yoga Foundation

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About

Special Yoga Foundation has a new branch to its tree: Mindfulness for Mental Health Resilience. Mental health is a big topic today and current issues in schools are very serious. There are significant increases in children self-harming and teachers suffering from severe stress, depression and anxiety.

It’s clear that something is needed to help as both a preventative methodology and to help the children who are at risk. At the end of February, we were asked to create and deliver a ‘Mindfulness for Mental Health Resilience’ programme for the staff and children in primary and secondary schools as part of a programme to improve mental health resilience in the borough of Havering in Essex.

The Programme

The programme consists of three parts.

Part 1: Focuses solely on teachers and staff to enable them to manage their reactivity and start to compassionately observe their own behaviours, and giving them a short daily practise to work with.

Part 2: Introduces some mindfulness practises for the children, including mindful movement, breathing and awareness/relaxation exercises, to practise regularly together various practical tools for them to understand what happens when they are reactive.

Part 3: Provides further practises to develop self-esteem, self-awareness, and self-compassion.

Effectiveness

All participants of the resilience training are being asked to complete a questionnaire before and after the training, to measure the effectiveness of the programme on their mental well-being and resilience.

The programme is currently being evaluated through the Stirling Children’s Wellbeing Scale for children aged 8-13 years and the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS) for children over 13 years. NHS Health Scotland commissioned the development of the Warwick- Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS) as part of the Mental Health Indicators Programme. WEMWBS continues to be widely used for evaluation of the impact of public mental health initiatives. WEMWBS has 14 items rated on 5-point scales. It measures positive mental health including subjective experiences of happiness and life satisfaction, perspectives on psychological functioning, personal relationships and self-realisation/acceptance. So far, it’s looking promising as initial results of our training shows a meaningful change in the mental well-being of teachers.

Next Steps

The programme continues to undergo evaluation with both qualitative and quantitative data. The programme will be available to other boroughs or individual or groups of schools. If you have any further enquiries, please email hannah@specialyoga.org.uk to find out more.

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