• Mindfulness in schools: a health promotion approach to improving adolescent mental health.

      Sapthiang, Supakyada; Van Gordon, William; Shonin, Edo; University of Derby (Springer., 2018-10-16)
      Between 10 and 20% of adolescents worldwide experience a mental health problem within a given 12-month period. Mental health problems impact on an adolescent’s potential to live a fulfilling and productive life and lead to challenges such as stigma, isolation and discrimination. To address this need, in recent years, there has been growing interest into broad-based school-integrated health promotion interventions that seek to build resilience and augment protective factors in adolescents. Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) reflect one such approach that have been administered to adolescent populations in both resilience building and treatment contexts. This paper discusses the utility of school-based MBIs as an adolescent health promotion approach and makes recommendations for intervention design, delivery and evaluation. Emerging evidence indicates that school-integrated MBIs may be a cost-effective means of not only meeting government objectives relating to adolescent mental health, but also for improving the wellbeing of teachers and parents. Furthermore, there is growing evidence indicating that mindfulness can elicit improvements in student learning performance and general classroom behaviour. However, notwithstanding these beneficial properties, there remains a need to conduct large-scale empirical investigations that seek to evaluate the effectiveness of school-integrated MBIs at a regional or national level. A further challenge is the need to ensure that mindfulness instructors are able to impart to adolescents an experiential understanding of this ancient contemplative technique.