MindfulnessUK were delighted to be invited last year to work in partnership with the charity the Mental Health Foundation.
This marriage of Mindfulness and children’s Mental Health is a wonderful combination, as proven in the highly successful two day project with young people from three schools, teaching them mindfulness, and exploring how young people can use digital application to support them to access mindfulness and compassion in their daily lives.
Angie Ward from MindfulnessUK was delighted to be invited to a special event this week held in London in The Houses Of Parliament.
This event marks the beginning of a joint programme of work between The British Psychological Society and The Mental Health Foundation who both share common interest and concern in the importance of keeping young people safe online.
The introduction to the evening was launched by Dr Lisa Cameron MP who is Mental Health Spokesperson for the SNP and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Psychology. Dr Cameron spoke passionately about her background in Clinical Psychology and interest in young peoples mental health.
This event attracted many eminent speakers in the field of young people and digital technology. Adam Galpin Senior Lecturer in Media Psychology at the University of Salford talked about young people and digital technology. Adam’s research focuses on the use of technology including the use of prosthetic limbs and the development of e-Health tools. He has also provided research and consultancy to the media industries on a range of topics including user-centred design, healthy use of technology, media use across the lifespan and has worked with CBeebies on a project focusing on children’s web usability.
Gemma Taylor, a Lecturer in Developmental Psychology at the University of Salford spoke next. Gemma’s research focuses on understanding the role of screen media on children’s early memory and language. Gemma is currently investigating children’s word learning from touchscreen apps.
Victoria Betton, founder and Director of mHabitat an NHS hosted organisation which supports people- centred digital innovation in health. Victoria is busy writing a book with a CAMHS worker for practitioners to use. She shares a simple framework on how to support children and young people to sue technology safely and effectively.
Emma Wilson a mental health specialist spoke about her own experiences of mental health and how digital technology helped her and also masked her need for help. Emma’s powerful story highlighted how mental health illness impacts on peoples lives and the struggle to get help. Emma now runs her own business aiming to raise awareness of the pros and cons of technology for children and young people. Emma has done a mindfulness based stress reduction course and continues to use it and benefit from it.
Andrea Finkel-Gates from The British Psychological Society and Isabel Goldie from the Mental Health Foundation each spoke about their organisations and the important work they are doing and how thrilled they both are to be working collaboratively.
Dr Lisa Cameron ended the evening on a positive note thanking everyone present for all their hard work and to never underestimate the importance of their work in supporting children and young people to develop positive mental health.
Angie would like to thank the Mental Health Foundation and The British Psychological Society for organising and inviting us to this informative and relevant event.
Young people often turn to digital technology to look for answers when they are experiencing mental health problems. When they are in this space they may not make the right decisions about how they access it and use it.
Mindfulness and compassion supports children and young adults of all ages on how to befriend their emotions and not see them as their enemy. It teaches them how to have a positive relationship with themselves and others and how to be resilient in a world of many challenges. Mindfulness gives them the tools to use when they feel overwhelmed, stressed and anxious, something to always have with them to call upon to deal with or prevent overwhelming feelings.
Angie left the event with one question “If all children had mindfulness and compassion taught to them alongside digital technology awareness would they use the sourcing of information differently”