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Mindfulness programme shows promise

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A study of the Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) has shown that it reduces depressive symptoms, lowers stress, and increases well-being in teenagers.

The MiSP programme is a complex intervention that includes elements for young people who are stressed and experiencing mental health difficulties, for those in the normal range of mental health, and for those who are flourishing. It consists of nine lessons given weekly. A non-randomised controlled feasibility study matched six secondary schools teaching the MiSP programme with similar schools. Pupils aged 12-16 took part in the programme and were tested before the intervention, after the intervention (two months later), and at follow-up (three months later). After the intervention, there was strong evidence of lower depression scores for those receiving the MiSP programme. At follow-up, there was evidence of increased well-being, lower stress, and lower depression scores.

The authors say that the next step should be a randomised control trial, with longer follow-ups, to examine key processes and outcomes, and pay close attention to generalisability.

Source: Effectiveness of the Mindfulness in Schools Programme: Non-randomised Controlled Feasibility Study (2013), The British Journal of Psychiatry.

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