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Treat stress with mindfulness, says mental health charity

11 May 2015

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The Mental Health Foundation is calling for mindfulness based cognitive therapy to be available in all areas of the UK so that GPs can recommend it.

A survey commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation and carried out by YouGov reveals that 46% of workers struggle to switch off from work and 29% of people always or often feel stressed.

Mindfulness based cognitive therapy is recommended by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and endorsed in the chief medical officer’s mental health report, for reducing the risk of recurrent depression and cutting relapse rates in half.

However, Jenny Edwards, the CEO of the Mental Health Foundation, said: “The evidence to date is that only a handful of clinical commissioning groups make mindfulness available in their area”. 

“Of course adequate funding of mental health services is vital, but we also need a national prevention strategy for mental health to help prevent problems from developing wherever possible. We need to tackle the causes that increase the risks of mental ill health and to equip people with practical tools that help prevent stress, anxiety and depression, and build resilience,” she said.

The survey of 2,000 people in the UK also found that 59% of people had heard of mindfulness but didn’t know what it is, while 65% said they were very or fairly likely to do an activity for 15 minutes a day if it would reduce stress levels.

For Mental Health Awareness Week (11-17 May) the Mental Health Foundation has re-launched its website dedicated to mindfulness: www. The site features a register of UK teachers and access to the Mental Health Foundation’s own online course developed with mindfulness practitioners.