The Narrow-Minded Approach to Managing Mental Health.

There was a recent MYRIAD (My Resilience in Adolescence) study that looked to see if a School-based Mindfulness (SBMT) curriculum was worth rolling out to schools across the UK; the findings were that it didn’t make any really difference and that most of the children found it boring.

This study has raised a couple of concerns for me, and it’s not about the study itself, it’s mainly about how it was reported and that the people who create these curriculums seem to have no clue about mental health and how best to manage it.

What drew my attention to this study was an article on the BBC website with the headline ‘School mindfulness lessons don’t work for teenagers, study says’ the article goes on to say, ‘Giving teenagers mindfulness lessons at school to boost wellbeing is largely a waste of time, a major UK study has found’.

I’ve read some of the findings (well, what I could understand anyway) and my problem is that the BBC article was rather misleading.  The MYRIAD study was not looking at mindfulness as a whole, it’s aim was to see if this SBMT curriculum works; from what I’ve read they are saying that it’s this particular curriculum that doesn’t work.

Continue reading “The Narrow-Minded Approach to Managing Mental Health.”

Do you Act at Being Tough?

I was checking Facebook this morning and came across a video of an interview with Al Pacino, I think it was from 1983, and he was asked ‘Are you tough?’

His response was that he didn’t know.

‘Getting through life you’ve gotta be tough I guess; we’re all tough.’ He said ‘How do you mean tough’ he asked the interviewer.

‘Coping’ was the response.

‘I think what comes from toughness is because you’re trying to cover something usually sensitivity, certain vulnerability, that’s toughness.’

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#5in5forMind Update – Postponed to 2022.

It’s been a big decision to make, but I have decided to postpone my marathon challenge until next year.

While the injury to my achilles is feeling better, it’s still not 100%, plus I have pain in my right hip and lower back as well now; while I’ve tried to convince myself otherwise, I’ve come to the conclusion that trying to run five consecutive marathons on a dodgy leg and hip seems a bit of a push, and probably a bit silly.

I’ve been out running and managed 21km with little pain or discomfort, it’s after the running that the aches and pains start.  My concern is that if I push it I’m only going to cause more, long-term problems.

I’ve been watching quite a bit of sport over the past few months, especially the Olympics, and the general consensus when you hear injury stories is that the achilles is not to be trifled with, if it goes, then you’re in a world of trouble.

Continue reading “#5in5forMind Update – Postponed to 2022.”

Is There a Mental Health Bandwagon?

The other day I was talking to someone about the work I do, and one of their first comments was along the lines of “A lot of people seem to be jumping on the mental health bandwagon”.

It wasn’t said in a negative, patronising way, I think it was more just a common phrase we use to describe things that are more prominent, especially in the media; but it made me think.

I looked up the phrase ‘Jumping on the Bandwagon’ on trusty old Google, and found the following definition:

“To join an activity that has become very popular or to change your opinion to one that has become very popular so that you can share in its success.” – Cambridge Dictionary

It’s something politicians do regularly if they think it will get them more votes so they can win an election.

If you look at this definition, it is easy to see why people may think that mental health is a bandwagon, especially because of some of the high-profile examples that have been in the media spotlight recently.

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