City to offer free mindfulness training in partnership with City & Hackney Mind
Joint project provides opportunity for research and for students to find out more about mindfulness
A new collaboration between the mental health charity City and Hackney Mind and the Centre of Psychological Wellbeing and Neuroscience at City University London is offering psychology students free mindfulness and resilience training.
Based in the Department of Psychology, the initiative from a local branch of Mind – a charity which provides local expert services so no-one has to face a mental health problem alone - forms part of the City and Hackney Wellbeing Network and complements current research in the department, along with the newly created MSc in Clinical, Social and Cognitive Neuroscience.
The programme will involve joint research between City University London and City and Hackney Mind into the neuroscience and efficacy of mindfulness-based therapies, and is funded by the City of London Corporation.
Mindfulness practice involves focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. Mindfulness has a robust evidence base for improving psychological wellbeing and quality of life.
With the initiative starting in the New Year, over the next two years students will be able to enrol on a range of courses to improve their wellbeing and decrease stress. This includes:
- 8 week Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy or Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction course
- 8-week Resilience training (based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)
The partnership also includes opportunities for students’ professional development. City and Hackney Mind is offering clinical internships for students on the Clinical, Social and Cognitive Neuroscience MSc to provide support to mental health services in Hackney as Volunteer Wellbeing Practitioners. This will be in the following areas:
- Psychological Therapies (including group work)
- Mindfulness Unit
- Recovery College (for people with more severe and enduring mental health problems)
- Wellbeing Activities
Speaking about the course, Professor Tina Forster, lead of the Cognitive Neuroscience Research Unit and co-director of the Centre for Psychological Well-being and Neuroscience, said:
“This joint project between the Centre of Psychological Wellbeing and Neuroscience and City and Hackney Mind provides an excellent opportunity not only for our students to find out more about mindfulness, but also for us to carry out joint research into the neuroscience and efficacy of mindfulness-based therapies. It is exciting to work with Mind, and I look forward to the results of our partnership.”
City and Hackney Mind CEO Krishna Maharaj said:
“We are delighted to be able to offer targeted programmes for physical and mental wellbeing to support City students. The partnership aims to facilitate students’ resilience and build skills to counteract life’s stressors, as well as contributing to the research and evidence-base behind wellbeing interventions. We hope our sustained collaboration with the Psychology Department at City will continue to shape innovative mental health services and inform best practice.”
City and Hackney Mind is funded by the London Borough of Hackney and the City of London Corporation to provide targeted programmes to improve the wellbeing and resilience of City and Hackney populations. Having commenced in February 2014, the City and Hackney Wellbeing Network is made up of a partnership of 11 specialist mental health organisations, including City and Hackney Mind.