Mindful Nation: The new All-Party Parliamentary Report on Mindfulness is Out!

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It’s official, Britain is set to become a ‘Mindful Nation’. The much awaited Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group (MAAPG) has now been launched and sets out how it sees the future of mindfulness within the UK. Jon Kabat-Zinn’s forward even goes as far to suggest that the report could be “an inspiration and model for other nations and governments” in considering the role of mindfulness within society. It’s testimony to how far things have come on the mindfulness front that mindfulness has now entered the realm of UK politics and policy makers.

Mindfulness and Politics?

So, why is the government looking at mindfulness? A growing number of recent reports, including the report of the Wellbeing Economics APPG published last year, prompted the government to initiate the What Works Centre for Wellbeing, hosted by Public Health England. It is increasingly recognised that wellbeing and prosperity are fundamentally linked. the government’s Foresight Report talked about ‘mental capital’ the cognitive and emotional resources that ensure flexibility and resilience. But how to build it? Enter Mindfulness and a plethora of research alongside anecdotal evidence.

The first of its kind, the report is a culmination of over a year of research and inquiry and examines mental health in the areas of education, health, the workplace and the criminal justice system through the application of mindfulness interventions. Basing it’s recommendations on sound evidence from experienced mindfulness practitioners, the report urges policymakers to invest resources in further research and increase public access to qualified teachers aiming to position the uK as a forerunner in the mindfulness stakes.

The report recommends the following;

In health, the the number of people who have access to mindfulness programmes should be increased, making it available to 580,000 adults each year who will be at risk of recurrent depression. That funding for the training of teachers to provide these courses. There was also a recommendation that NICE review the evidence for Mindfulness Based Interventions (MBIs) in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, cancer and chronic pain when revising their treatment guidelines.

For education, the report recommends that schools be identified as pioneers to develop mindfulness training for teachers and for students. A ‘Challenge Fund’ was suggested of £1 million a year to which schools could bid for the costs of training teachers in mindfulness.

At work, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) was singled out as the body to demonstrate leadership in working with employers to champion mindfulness and develop models of good practice. The government was also encouraged to set a precedence and train local and national government employees, encouraging best practice and research in this currently underfunded sector.

In the criminal justice system, the report suggests that mindfulness programmes be offered to offenders with depression. More research into Mindfulness based Interventions (MBIs) is also suggested within offender populations.

The report aims to widen interest in mindfulness innovation and ‘deepen understanding of it’s relevance and potential’ across a range of sectors. It seems then, that mindfulness is here to stay. Building on a groundswell of public interest in the understanding and building of human flourishing mindfulness is now very firmly on the agenda. To read the full report go to http://www.themindfulnessinitiative.org.uk

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About koru development

At Koru we'd like to be part of your journey towards whatever it is that you want to achieve in your life, by bringing you tools, news & strategies to help you get there. Gill Thackray, Koru Development Director, is a Psychology Lecturer, British Psychological Society Psychometric Assessor, MBTI Practioner, author of a number of articles on the practical applications of psychology in everyday life, regular blogger, speaker, contributor and founding member of the Koru Trust, a charity working with Karen Hilltribe refugees in Mae La UN Refugee Camp Thailand. She has lived and worked in Tibet, China, Poland and Thailand. For more information, useful bits and pieces or just to find out what we're up to visit us at www.korudevelopment.co.uk or follow us on Twitter and Linkdin.
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