England is introducing a new subject in 370 schools, and it’s called mindfulness!
Students in England study about math, science and history, but hundreds of schools (up to 370 to be precise) are preparing to expand the traditional curriculum with a new subject: mindfulness.
In up to 370 schools, students will start to practice mindfulness as part of a study to improve youth mental health, the British government said on Monday.
They will work with experts in the mental health field to learn relaxation techniques, breathing exercises and other methods to “help them balance their emotions,” the government said in a news release announcing the program.
The goal of the program is to study which approaches work best for young people in a world of rapid change. The government said the study, which will run until 2021, is one of the largest of its kind in the world.
The initiative comes months after a survey commissioned by the National Health Service found that one in eight children in England between the ages of 5 and 19 suffered from at least one mental disorder at the time of their assessment in 2017.
The survey, published in November, indicated a slight increase in mental disorders in five to 15-year-olds, which rose to 11.2 percent in 2017 from 9.7 percent in 1999. Disorders like anxiety and depression were the most common, affecting one in 12 children and early adolescents in 2017, and appeared more often in girls.
“There is a tendency to think that the solution is mental health intervention,” says Dr. Jessica Deighton, an associate professor in child mental health and well-being at University College London who is leading the government trials. “We will try to reduce the stigma against mental health problems, by making the school environment literate in mental health.”
“It’s not just to make them feel better in the short-term,” Dr. Deighton said, “but to better equip them for later in life.”
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Source used: The New York Times