Now in it’s 15th year, Mental Health Awareness Week has covered everything from stigma, anxiety, exercise, friendship, alcohol misuse and work/life balance since it began in the year 2000.
The rise of social media has helped Mental Health Awareness Week become an important and popular part of the mental health calendar, and I’m sure this year will be no different as the topic chosen by those lovely folk at the Mental Health Foundation is very much the current mental health buzzword: mindfulness.
There’s this rather nice introduction to mindfulness in the Mental Health Awareness Week publicity materials:
Contrary to popular belief, mindfulness isn’t about emptying your mind of thoughts or “zoning out”, it’s about paying attention to the present moment, without getting stuck in the past or worrying about the future.
What you may be surprised to hear is that you have probably been mindful at some point in your life and didn’t even know it… Have you gone for a long walk, breathing in the crisp, fresh air and then suddenly realised that four hours have passed? Have you listened so intently to a song that for a moment, you weren’t thinking about anything but how beautiful the melody was? That’s mindfulness!
The evidence for mindfulness
We’ve blogged about mindfulness quite a bit over the last 4 years, so today we are presenting a review of these blogs, specifically aimed at readers who haven’t read much mindfulness research and want an overview of the field.
The dozen blogs we’re featuring cover a range of health problems, including anxiety, depression, substance misuse, psychosis, stress, eating disorders, adjustment disorders and the mental health of cancer patients.
- Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy to prevent depression.
André Tomlin presents the results of the PREVENT RCT published today in The Lancet, which investigates the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy compared with maintenance antidepressant treatment in the prevention of depressive relapse or recurrence.
- Mindfulness based group therapy for common mental health disorders.
Mark Smith summarises a recent RCT of mindfulness based group therapy in primary care patients with depression, anxiety and stress and adjustment disorders.
- Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may reduce the demand for primary care visits.
Can’t get an appointment with your GP? Don’t stress, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may help by reducing the demand for primary care visits by distressed patients, according to a new study in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research.
- New meta-analysis supports the use of mindfulness for depression, but not anxiety.
This study confirms that mindfulness based interventions (MBIs) are valid for the treatment of current depressive episodes, and it identifies the need for more studies to investigate the possibility that MBIs might also be of value in treating anxiety disorders.
- Watching what you eat: does mindfulness work for binging and weight loss?
Helen Bould tells us that mindfulness may do many things, and is queuing up to take its place with CBT as the panacea of mental illness, but in her view it cannot yet lay claim to solving binge eating.
- Targeted mindfulness-based relapse prevention may support long-term outcomes for substance use disorders.
Meg Fluharty’s blog summarises an RCT from JAMA Psychiatry on the relative efficacy of mindfulness-based relapse prevention, standard relapse prevention and treatment as usual for substance use disorders.
- Mindfulness-based stress reduction can alleviate stress and improve quality of life and mental health.
This systematic review from the Campbell Collaboration suggests that mindfulness might help reduce work-related stress.
- Mindfulness moderately effective for reducing symptoms of psychosis, though controlled studies less convincing.
Sarah Knowles reports on a meta-analysis of mindfulness interventions for psychosis, which finds little high quality research to support decision making.
- Mindfulness proves effective in depression and anxiety, but is not superior to traditional CBT.
Elly O’Brien highlights a meta-analysis on mindfulness-based therapy, which shows how more consistent measuring and reporting of outcomes will improve the quality of evidence in this field.
- Mindfulness-based stress reduction works for patients with breast cancer.
Kirsten Lawson summarises a meta-analysis of mindfulness-based stress reduction, which suggests that this intervention can improve mental health symptoms in patients with breast cancer.
- Mindfulness shows promise as treatment for health anxiety.
Fabio Zucchelli reports on an RCT that provides preliminary support for the use of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy as an adjunctive treatment alongside the usual package of care for people with health anxiety.
- Should we be offering mindfulness-based cognitive therapy to all patients with residual depressive symptoms?
André Tomlin presents the findings of an RCT which investigates how mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may help people with a prior history of depression.
We’d love to hear what you think of these blogs and mindfulness in general. Is this ‘flavour of the month’ getting more attention than it deserves, or will mindfulness eventually live up to the hype?
Are you aware of recently published high quality research about mindfulness? If so, please post a comment below with the reference(s).
You can get involved with Mental Health Awareness Week on social media by using the #mhaw15 hashtag on Twitter or Facebook, or by visiting the Mental Health Foundation #mhaw15 website.
If you’re looking for a nice simple introduction to what mindfulness is and how it could help you, then look no further than the Mental Health Awareness Week supporter kit (PDF).
RT @Mental_Elf: The evidence for mindfulness: Mental Health Awareness Week #mhaw15 http://t.co/Q4BqRQk0Ro
The evidence for mindfulness: Mental Health Awareness Week #mhaw15 http://t.co/LAB6Zts1kp #MentalHealth http://t.co/m5asvmcyEc
The evidence for mindfulness: Mental Health Awareness Week #mhaw15: Mental Health Awareness Week starts today!… http://t.co/sE6927pAix
Could #mindfulness be a panacea for mental illness? http://t.co/BdOLV0PQZC
Book the date! June 2nd @ 1pm BST @EBMentalHealth G+Hangout on #mindfulness. Nice summary of the evidence @Mental_Elf http://t.co/QJ9rCNvfh1
The evidence for mindfulness: Mental Health Awareness Week #mhaw15 https://t.co/4jXLI7AtN4 via @sharethis
RT @Mental_Elf: Today @andretomlin presents the evidence about #mindfulness #mhaw15 http://t.co/Q4BqRQBCfY
RT @Mental_Elf: It’s Mental Health Awareness Week #mhaw15 and we have a dozen evidence-based blogs about #mindfulness http://t.co/Q4BqRQBCfY
RT @Mental_Elf: Is #mindfulness worth the hype? Find out by reading our top 12 research blogs http://t.co/Q4BqRQBCfY #mhaw15 http://t.co/n0…
The evidence for mindfulness: Mental Health Awareness Week #mhaw15 https://t.co/HJdEwgcS1A via @sharethis
It’s Mental Health Awareness Week! @Mental_Elf features C2’s #SystematicReview of #mindfulness in their top 12 blogs http://t.co/lpxya2ZCr6
The evidence for mindfulness: Mental Health Awareness Week #mhaw15 https://t.co/pyXjJgHFWt via @sharethis
Today marks the beginning of mental health awareness week and in this article, the Mental Health Foundation have… http://t.co/odekABHUZU
Morning @mhf_tweets Hope you’re enjoying #mhaw15 so far. We’ve mentioned you in our #mindfulness blog today: http://t.co/Q4BqRQBCfY
@Mental_Elf It is good to see #mindfulness being focussed on. I would also like to see #ExpressiveArts therapies being brought to forefront.
RT @joinmq: #MHAW15 Want to know more about the evidence for mindfulness? Check out these informative blogs from @Mental_Elf – http://t.co/…
Some fascinating evidence on the effectiveness of mindfulness http://t.co/ZGXxM8RfDV. Perfect reading for #MHAW15! https://t.co/kNMfVf2dGU
There’s a LOT of publicity puff about #mindfulness. Here’s the evidence: http://t.co/Q4BqRQBCfY #mhaw15
Helpful scan of the #evidence re #mindfulness here from @Mental_Elf http://t.co/jdXN8UwGDP @SusannahBowyer @ripfa @researchIP
Great info on the evidence for mindfulness from @Mental_Elf http://t.co/HWho2BVjGD #MHAW15
Find out more about the evidence for #mindfulness here:
Some interesting studies. Might want to add Singh, N et al. (2006) Journal of Emotional Disorders and Sing, N. 2014 Mindfulness who provide some evidence for the effectiveness of mindfulness for parents of young people with autism and behavioural issues.
RT @Mental_Elf: Interested in #mindfulness? Top 12 research blogs to get you thinking http://t.co/Q4BqRQBCfY #mhaw15
RT @Mental_Elf: Mental Health Awareness Week is about #mindfulness, so here’s all the recent research http://t.co/Q4BqRQBCfY #mhaw15
La evidencia sobre el #mindfulness http://t.co/duNfetSuSC vía @Mental_Elf #Psicología #Asturias
@Mental_Elf Connection to Self through Conscious Presence | Unimed Living https://t.co/EhyzV7BHfX deepening livingness
RT @QDirector_AVCCG: The evidence for mindfulness on mental health http://t.co/fqwTHieLHb @avccg @PositivePracti1
The evidence for mindfulness: Mental Health Awareness Week #mhaw15 https://t.co/qF9gSm5Sto via @sharethis
Good morning everyone. The evidence for #mindfulness: #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek via @Mental_Elf http://t.co/yta38hjul3
“Evidence for mindfulness: Mental Health Awareness Week” #mhaw15 via @Mental_Elf http://t.co/iooqEfRGB3
RT @NPPCouncil: Fantastic summary of evidence for #mindfulness in a #mentalhealth care context from the @Mental_Elf #MHAW15 http://t.co/ykj…
@Mental_Elf reviews the evidence for #mindfulness this Mental Health Awareness Week #mhaw15 https://t.co/5bKDN0OnXs
@Mental_Elf reviews the evidence for #mindfulness this Mental Health Awareness Week #mhaw15 https://t.co/Z2JRmqmqZs
Interesting blog by @Mental_Elf about mindfulness #MHAW15 http://t.co/KjoiGNuhSV
The evidence for mindfulness: Mental Health Awareness Week #mhaw15 https://t.co/Hm6oOtYqom via @sharethis
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