Be Mindful this Mental Health Awareness Week

Published: Monday 11th May 2015 by Tom Drinkall

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HeadStart Hull partners, NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Hull City Council and Humber Foundation Trust are backing this year’s Mental Health Awareness week from 11 – 17 May 2015.

The theme of the nationally recognised week is ‘mindfulness’; the act of paying attention to the present moment, without getting stuck in the past or worrying about the future.

Through HeadStart, a number of teachers working at schools in Hull have been fortunate enough to take part in mindfulness training. Donna Boyce from Griffin Primary School undertook the training earlier this year, she said:

“I can honestly say the 8 week mindfulness course was the best thing I have ever done. It has given me a vital technique which I can use to cope with the daily battles I encounter. Mindfulness allows you to explore the reasons for the feelings we have; this insight has helped me to come to terms with my own struggles and have a true sense of acceptance of myself and my feelings”.

Mindfulness is a positive response to the pressures of modern lifestyles; in particular stress, anxiety and depression. By being mindful, individuals can begin taking the positive steps required to increase their mental health resilience.

There are a number of ways people can be mindful; including:

  • Go walking – walk mindfully, taking notice of the sights and sounds around you. Give your brain a break by thinking only about that moment and not any upcoming pressures or current issues in your life
  • Eat a mindful meal – slow down the process of eating, really enjoy and savour your meal! Slow down your actions and your mind will slow too
  • Turn off technology – focus on something other than texts, emails and social media. Stepping away from your phone for even just an hour can help mental wellbeing


Jenny Edwards, CEO of the Mental Health Foundation says:

“We are very excited about the potential mindfulness has to improve our nation’s mental health. Alongside ensuring adequate support for those who develop mental health problems, as a society we have to put more focus on prevention.

Everyone has mental health, and everyone can take positive steps to help maintain emotional wellbeing. Over recent years, and in large part due to previous Mental Health Awareness Weeks, there is a greater acknowledgment of the impact of exercising, eating and sleeping well, not just for physical health, but mental health.

There is now also a growing body of evidence that practising mindfulness, taking time to focus on the present rather than analysing the past or worrying about the future, can help maintain good mental health.”

Follow @NHSHullCCG, @Hullccnews and @HumberNHSFT on Twitter for more information on being mindful and practical mental resilience advice from Monday 11 May.

Published: Monday 11th May 2015 by Tom Drinkall

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