The UK as a mindful nation?

Yesterday (20th October 2015) in the UK a somewhat unusual report was published.  Coming from the Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group (MAPPG), following eight hearings in parliament and over a year of research, the report, Mindful Nation UK, makes recommendations about teaching mindfulness in the workplace, education, healthcare and even in the criminal justice system.  Not the kind of research I ever expected to come from parliament!

OK, being formally trained in psychology and as a mindfulness teacher, I’m perhaps a bit more excited about the recommendations of the report than most.  But then, although mindfulness is not a panacea, I’ve witnessed how the mind skills that it helps develop can be of real benefit in life and work.  So, what does the report recommend?

Here are some examples:

  • For education: create a challenge fund where schools can bid for the costs of training teachers in mindfulness.
  • For healthcare: Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) should be available in line with the NICE guidelines for those at risk of recurrent depression (that’s 580 thousand people!)
  • and in the workplace: leading by example, government departments should encourage the development of mindfulness programmes for staff.

And in all cases, further targeted research should be used to forward understanding and good practice.  The report also sites a shortage of teachers that have been trained according the UK Network for Mindfulness Teacher Training guidelines (the guidelines that our teachers are trained with and follow, naturally :-), see here), at about 2200 in the UK, and 700 for those in clinical practice.

If you’d like to read the full report, you’ll find it here.  It’s 66 pages without appendices, though it’s well structured.  So if you main interest is in, say the the workplace, then you can read pages 39-50.