Launch of All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG)
to study the benefits of bringing mindfulness into public policy
The Mindfulness APPG is supported by The Mindfulness Initiative, a coalition of Oxford, Exeter and Bangor Universities to advocate for a better understanding of mindfulness as a low cost intervention and its potential in a range of public services.
Bangor, Exeter, and Oxford Universities have been at the forefront of research, teaching and training in this growing field. The APPG offers an exciting opportunity to bring policy makers together in conversation with academics and practitioners to consider how the evidence for mindfulness can inform policy
Mark Williams, Wellcome Principal Research Fellow at the University of Oxford and Professor of Clinical Psychology, said: “The APPG is a hugely welcome development as we work to bring the benefits of mindfulness to millions. The APPG will emphasize evidence-based policy development in critical areas of life, starting with health, education and criminal justice. Colleagues in Oxford, Bangor and Exeter have been studying as clinical scientists where mindfulness has the greatest benefits and why it has the effects that it does. The first step is always to look at what works but the vital next step is then to implement the results of the scientific discoveries so all can benefit. The APPG will help public policy to keep up with the science.”
What is the Mindfulness Initiative?
The Mindfulness Initiative is an advocacy project, closely associated with the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, which is aimed at increasing awareness of how mindfulness training can be of benefit in a wide range of settings. The work of the Initiative involves consulting with policy makers, government ministers, parliamentarians, opinion-formers and employers, as well as those involved in teaching mindfulness, in order to convene key conversations and formulate policy recommendations. The Initiative is supporting the launch and running of the new All Party Parliamentary Group on Mindfulness and has already held a number of meetings presenting the scientific evidence on mindfulness to ministers, MPs and senior policy advisors.
The Mindfulness Initiative is a collaboration of the Mindfulness Centres at Oxford, Exeter and Bangor Universities. Its advisory group includes leading practitioners, researchers and policy experts including Professor Mark Williams (Oxford) Professor Willem Kuyken (Exeter), Dr Rebecca Crane (Bangor), Lord Richard Layard, Dr Florian Ruth, (consultant psychiatrist, Maudsley), as well as the three chairs of the All Party Parliamentary Group, Chris Ruane MP [Lab], Tracey Crouch MP [Con] and Lorely Burt MP [Lib Dem].
What areas is the Mindfulness Initiative focused on?
Areas of particular interest to the Initiative are:
- mindfulness in schools to improve classroom behaviour, attention and focus, as a strategy to raise educational standards and supporting social mobility, and to develop young people’s tools for lifelong well-being
- expanding the provision of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy within the NHS as a treatment for depression and other mental and physical health problems
- mindfulness as a way to reduce stress and improve care, attentiveness and compassion amongst healthcare workers
- mindfulness as a way to improve resilience, reduce stress and anxiety, and develop creativity in the workplace
- mindfulness as a way to tackle depression, anxiety and stress in the criminal justice system (both staff and those in custody)
- mindfulness as a way to cultivate overall health and well-being