World Mental Health Day

This year’s World Mental Health Day (1) Thursday 10 October is an opportunity for us to consider our own, our families, and our friends mental health and wellbeing and the theme is ‘Mental health and older adults’.

It has been a great year for recognising the World wide benefit to society of a comprehensive response to mental health.

· Publication of the 2nd UN World Happiness Report (2)

· Acknowledgement that mental illness is one of the main causes of unhappiness (3)

· The WHO comprehensive mental health action plan 2013-2020 has great potential to change the direction of mental health in countries around the world in the next 8 years. This is the first formal recognition of the importance of mental health for WHO's 194 member states (4)

Whilst the ‘Mindfulness Meditation Kingston & New Malden Group’ are aware of the following positive benefits of practising mindfulness to improve both our mental and physical health we appreciate all the work being undertaken to make these advantages available in our wider communities.

Mindfulness is good for: (5)

· our bodies - boosts our immune system’s ability to fight off illness

· our minds - increases positive emotions while reducing negative emotions and stress

· our brains - linked to learning, memory, emotion regulation, and empathy

· focus - tune out distractions and improves our memory and attention skills

· compassion and altruism - makes us more likely to help someone in need

· relationships - makes each partner feel more optimistic and relaxed, and makes them feel more accepting of and closer to one another

· parents and parents-to-be - happier with their parenting skills and their relationship with their kids

· schools - scientific evidence that teaching mindfulness in the classroom reduces behavior problems and aggression among students, and improves their happiness levels and ability to pay attention

· Teachers  - show lower blood pressure, less negative emotion and symptoms of depression, and greater compassion and empathy

· health care professionals - cope with stress, connect with their patients, and improve their general quality of life

· mental health professionals - by reducing negative emotions and anxiety, and increasing their positive emotions and feelings of self-compassion

· prisons - evidence suggests mindfulness reduces anger, hostility, and mood disturbances among prisoners by increasing their awareness of their thoughts and emotions, helping with their rehabilitation and reintegration

Whilst the ‘Mindfulness Meditation Kingston & New Malden Group’ outreach support is for the campaign to make Mindfulness available to all UK Schools Children by 2022 (6) for two weeks we are supporting World Mental Health Day by donating to the Mental Health Foundation. (7)

Links and References

1.    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Mental_Health_Day

2.    http://www.mindfulnessfoundation.org.uk/paradigm/un-world-happiness/

3.    http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp1239.pdf

4.    http://www.who.int/mental_health/action_plan_2013/en/index.html

5.    http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/mindfulness/definition

6.    http://www.mindfulnessfoundation.org.uk/

7.  http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/