The Mindfulness Initiative grew out of a programme of mindfulness teaching to parliamentarians in Westminster (so far 115 MPs and peers, and a similar number of staff, have completed the 8-week mindfulness-based cognitive therapy course). In 2013, we began presenting the scientific evidence on mindfulness to ministers, MPs and senior policy advisors.
In early 2014, The Mindfulness Initiative supported parliamentarians to set up a Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group (MAPPG), which has co-chairs from the three main political parties, Chris Ruane (Labour), Tracey Crouch (Conservative) and Lorely Burt (Liberal Democrat). The MAPPG was launched in Parliament on May 7th 2014 (see media coverage) Over 150 people attended, including more than 30 Members of Parliament and peers. Comedian Ruby Wax and Professor Willem Kuyken were among the speakers.
Mindful Nation UK inquiry
The Mindfulness Initiative is helping the Mindfulness All Party Parliamentary Group (MAAPG) carry out an inquiry into how mindfulness could be incorporated into UK services and institutions. We are bringing scientists, practitioners, commissioners of services and policymakers together in a series of Parliamentary events. Working papers from these discussions will feed into a report, Mindful Nation UK, which will summarise evidence-based recommendations after the next general election. An interim report has now been published. Download the interim report.
The Mindful Nation inquiry held its first hearing on 20th May 2014, a roundtable on the role of mindfulness in the workplace. On July 16th 2014, the Mindful Nation held its second hearing, a roundtable on mindfulness as an approach to mental health. There were six more hearings from September – December 2014 on topics including education, criminal justice, and pain management. See events for more information.
Areas of particular interest to the inquiry are:
- Education: can mindfulness in schools influence classroom behavior, attention and focus, help raise educational standards and support social mobility, and develop young people’s tools for well-being?
- Healthcare: can mindfulness reduce the incidence of mental health problems such as depression, as well as reduce stress and cultivate care and compassion in health services?
- Work: can mindfulness be a way to reduce stress and anxiety – and develop resilience, emotional intelligence and creativity - in the workplace?
- Criminal Justice: can mindfulness be a way to tackle depression, anxiety, stress in the criminal justice system?
- Teaching standards.: There is currently no formal accreditation process for mindfulness teachers. As interest in training grows, how can people be pointed towards good mindfulness teachers?