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Promoting mindfulness with defence, policing and emergency services

City researcher, Dr Jutta Tobias Mortlock, speaks at the Mindfulness All Party Parliamentary Group hearing on the Armed Forces, Policing and Emergency Services.

by Shamim Quadir (Senior Communications Officer)

Mindfulness can be considered as paying attention to your situation, with the intention of managing your awareness in a way that stops you judging the situation prematurely.

It is a trainable skill and its practice has gained significant interest globally in recent years, including from employers asking how mindfulness can be used to support their workforce.

Dr Jutta Tobias Mortlock is Senior Lecturer in Organisational Psychology at City, University of London.  

Her research focus is on mindfulness and performance related outcomes at work, and she is currently conducting research with the British Armed Forces.

Since joining City last year from Cranfield University, Dr Tobias Mortlock has organised and been involved in a number of events to promote awareness of mindfulness training and its utility for those who work in high-stake environments, such as the armed forces.

This included speaking at the Mindfulness All Party Parliamentary Group hearing on the Armed Forces, Policing and Emergency Services, at which she talked about workplace behaviour change initiatives geared towards generating sustainable wellbeing and performance, and emphasising the importance of teamwork in mindfulness training.

©The Mindfulness  Initiative. Credit: Shai Dolev

The hearing was chaired by the Rt Hon Sir Desmond Swane MP and the Rt Hon Shadow Treasury Minister Clive Lewis MP. A number of other MPs and Peers attended the hearing including Chris Ruane MP and Lord Andrew Stone, Baron Stone of Blackheath.

Dr Mortlock also organised a workshop that followed the parliamentary hearing. This brought together various stakeholders from the hearing to co-create a future research agenda for mindfulness interventions in defence, policing and emergency services. The aim was to create an agenda that is fit for purpose and that reflects the needs of the people at the frontline of work in these high-stakes environments.

Attendees included several mindfulness researchers from across the UK, frontline staff in policing and emergency services, as well as mindfulness trainers and coaches working in these environments.

Commenting on the use of mindfulness training in the workplace, Dr Tobias Mortlock said:

There are a number of scientifically validated techniques based on mindfulness, acceptance and commitment training and positive psychology that can be used to enhance people’s wellbeing and achievement at work.

“What makes people successful at work is not just about what they know, or indeed how much they can do, but also about understanding and then managing our own thoughts and feelings in a way that supports and sustains ourselves.  This is an important building block to effectively and sustainably relating to, collaborating with, and inspiring the other people that we deal with in our daily work lives.

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