Friday, October 23, 2015

MINDFULNESS IS AN ALL-PARTY AFFAIR

Despite a few sceptical and very negative party poopers and detractors around the globe, mindfulness has well and truly come of age, proved itself, and received formal recognition both in the halls of medicine and in the corridors of power.

On 20 October 2015 the United Kingdom became the first country in the world to publish an all-party parliamentary report on mindfulness.

The Mindful Nation UK report is the result of a 12-month inquiry by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Mindfulness into how mindfulness training can benefit UK services and institutions.

The report's recommendations include: (i) commissioning mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) in the NHS for the 580,000 adults at risk of recurrent depression each year, in line with National Institute For Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines; (ii) creating three mindfulness Teaching Schools (to be selected by the Department of Education) to pioneer mindfulness teaching in schools; (iii) training government staff in mindfulness, especially in the health, education and criminal justice sectors; and (iv) researching the use of mindfulness training for offender populations in the criminal justice system.

Jenny Edwards CBE FRSA, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation said:

'The Mindful Nation UK report comes at a pivotal time for mindfulness and for action on mental health. The evidence tells us that, properly taught, the practice of mindfulness helps many people maintain good mental health and to sustain recovery after illness.

'At the same time the pressure on mental health crisis services has never been more intense. We know that three quarters of people with mental health problems do not receive care and treatment.

'We need to give serious consideration to the role mindfulness can play in helping to reduce the chances of experiencing mental health problems and to ensure that it becomes available to the communities who have the greatest risks. This has important implications for public policy. We are delighted to see a cross party consensus emerging that it is time for a fresh approach at a national level.'

I am pleased that there are now companies in various countries that are dedicated to promoting mindfulness in the workplace and offer executive coaching and ethical recruitment solutions based on mindfulness and ethical management principles to sustainable businesses and projects. Unlike the mercenary 'big-end-of-town' companies, these companies don't only care about the 'bottom line'. They genuinely care about the welfare of people as well. They are truly compassionate. And I know this to be true---you can be compassionate and efficient and effective as well.

One such company is the newly formed Mindful Talent Limited, based in Edinburgh, Scotland, which is run by the dynamic Alister Gray [pictured left] who is known to me. Alister has also lobbied successfully to have two pilot programmes on mindfulness introduced into Scottish high schools. He is a deeply spiritual young man -- see his guest post on this blog -- who cares about what happens to our damaged planet. He has a great commitment to, and interest in, a better world in the making. There are others I could mention who have similar values. These men and women are the hope of the future.





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