NHS-Funded Course Investigates Mindfulness Solutions to Depression

A new course in Launceston aims to teach skills in ‘mindfulness’ in an attempt to ensure that NHS workers are able to cope with anxiety and depression.

Mindfulness is a modern movement, appropriated from ancient Buddhist roots, and clinically innovated by Jon Kabat-Zinn.

The practice of mindfulness involves being aware moment-to-moment, of one’s subjective conscious experience from a first-person perspective.

Life Balance from Outlook South West is a six-week course, which attempts to teach people new ways to cope with negative feelings, unwelcome thoughts, anxiety and low mood via this well-known approach.

Although the course is open to the general public, organisers have stated that they are particularly keen to attract workers in healthcare environments.

The two-hour sessions will start on 2nd March, and will continue to take place every Wednesday afternoon from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.

Central to the ethos of the life balance program is a new psychological approach referred to as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

Kevin Simpson, a clinical psychologist with Outlook South West who runs the new courses, is extremely positive about the benefits of this new technique, and believes that people all over the UK can benefit from getting involved.

“ACT is proving to be an excellent approach for people who are suffering from anxiety and depression. The results have shown it’s also great for people who have low self-esteem or self-confidence.”

Simpson went on to explain the problems that people encounter with mental difficulties in their everyday lives.

“The problem is that we don’t tend to be able to move forward with our lives when we are struggling with difficult thoughts and feelings. There is often a constant battle to control, mask or avoid them, and this often just makes things worse. This course provides a crash-course in mindfulness and aims to help people break out of their comfort zones to live a more fulfilling life and to take greater care of their health.”

Although the existing course is taking place in Cornwall, it is hoped that the process can be successfully migrated to other regions of the UK over time.

Depression is extremely common in the UK; one in five people become depressed at some point in their lives.

Adults in Cornwall who are over 16 can register for a free place without GP referral by calling 01208 871905 or visiting www.outlooksw.co.uk/life-balance for more details.

 

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