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Mindfulness in schools helps reduce stress for teachers and pupils

07 September 2018

A Teesside University qualitative study presented at the Division of Health Psychology annual conference today has added further evidence that teachers and pupils in schools would benefit from the integration of a mindfulness and schema therapeutic intervention in the school curriculum.

Over a period of 5 weeks teachers (9) were offered weekly sessions and pupils (5) were offered integrated sessions taught within weekly personal, social and health education (PHSE) lessons for 8 weeks. 

The participants completed pre-and post-measures of their stress levels, emotional reactivity and awareness. They were also interviewed following the therapy.

Analysis showed that as both teachers and pupils understanding and awareness of mindfulness increased, their stress levels reduced significantly.  The sessions gave participants new perspectives on how to deal with stress and the tools to cope with it. 

“Actually being able to give them tools to be different and to cope with life rather than we do all the coping for them” (teacher) 

“I’ve found just being told I can actually have a look at myself and these are some tools that you can use, I just found they were immediately quite effective” (pupil)

PhD researcher and trainee Health Psychologist Joanne Dunnett of Teesside University who lead the study said:

“Schools can be stressful environments for teachers and pupils. This study adds to the evidence that incorporating mental health therapy as a normal part of the school week provides education, raises awareness and understanding as well as reducing stigma.”

Click here to find out more about health psychology.

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