Earlier this week, Nic led a debate in Parliament on the topic of teaching mindfulness in schools.
A lot of people suffer from mental health disorders while they are in school. In fact around one in ten people aged 5-16 are suffering from a mental health disorder. This works out at around three people in each class. Depression figures have doubled since the 1980’s showing that showing that problems with mental health is increasing. In fact figures show around half of people who suffer mental health issues as a child, find themselves suffering again as an adult.
Mindfulness can be as simple as sitting down in a quiet space, closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing. This could be done for a few minutes or for a longer time. You can either focus on your breathing or focus on what you are feeling. Another form of mindfulness is to do an ordinary task but to focus on what all of your senses are feeling at the time and any thoughts that come to mind- instead of other thoughts such as planning your shopping list.
Ways that schools could bring mindfulness into school could be by PSHE, role play sessions in drama lessons or even by running yoga sessions- either as part of the school day or even in physical education lessons.
There are some studies that have shown that mindfulness is very effective at reducing depression, anxiety and stress. Young people can suffer from lots of stress from exams, friends and all types of things which makes mindfulness a very good thing to be able to do.
The evidence that we have seen from studies shows that there is a strong case for mindfulness to be up scaled in schools.