There has never been a better time for schools to look at implementing evidenced-based ways to support the wellbeing and mental health of both their pupils and staff. As heads, governors and well-being leads alike look for new ways to put emphasis on the importance of looking after the mental health of all those in the school community. Now more than ever there is a real need for delivering things such as mindfulness throughout schools (both within the classroom and through staff training) to provide the tools to handle the increased pressures of modern day living.
Our children are increasingly stressed and anxious. As part of its inquiry, the charity Mind consulted with over 2,870 young people, parents/caregivers of young people affected by mental health problems, mental health professionals and school staff across England in 2021. The charity found that nearly seven in ten (68 per cent) young people reported being absent from school due to their mental health. It also revealed that almost all (96 per cent) of young people surveyed across England, reported that their mental health had affected their schoolwork at some point.
Meanwhile, teachers are also under increasing pressure and stress in a post pandemic workplace. Findings from the teacher wellbeing index 2022, carried out by the charity Education Support, show a three percentage point increase in the number of education staff who described themselves as stressed since 2021. It has also been reported that more than a third of senior leaders have told the annual survey they were even actively looking to leave the Education sector.
A “whole school” approach is needed to tackle the declining mental health and increased pressures and stress levels within schools.
Mindfulness is the practice of bringing your full awareness of the present rather than thinking about the past or the future. It is a way to quieten your mind, relax and de-stress. Studies show that mindfulness can help manage mental health struggles such as – stress, anxiety, and depression.
Mindfulness in the classroom
Mindfulness in schools can help young people not only to manage difficulties but to thrive, grow and learn.
Some of the proven benefits include –
- Improved cognitive outcomes
- Improved concentration levels
- Improved emotional regulation
- Having greater compassion for others
- Improved communication and engagement
Mindfulness for teachers
Mindfulness in schools is not just about implementing it into the classroom; it is also about those who care and influence them. Research shows that stressed out teachers impact students’ stress levels and student stress significantly impacts learning outcomes.
The benefits of mindfulness in adults are well-researched and the positive impact it can make on educators in particular can include –
- Stress regulation and reduction
- Increased self-compassion
- Reduced chance of burnout
- More emotionally supportive classrooms
- Better classroom organisation
- Increased teaching efficacy
At Mindful Me Health & Wellbeing we design and deliver bespoke online Mindfulness courses to meet the needs of clients working in the primary education sector. We offer an exciting, fresh approach to delivering empowering mindfulness programmes to alleviate the negative effects of stress and improve emotional health and well-being of both teachers and students.
To find out about the packages that we offer for primary schools, contact us here.