Three quarters of all mental health problems are established by the age of 18.
75% of young people experiencing mental health problems are not receiving treatment.
Mindfulness can help in many, but, sadly not all cases. Some teenagers have issues for which medical intervention is the appropriate course of action.
I regularly see teenagers who exhibit the early signs of anxiety, self-harm, depression and other disorders that can adversely affect attendance at school. Support services such as CAMHS are often overwhelmed and have long waiting lists.
Mindfulness is a universal approach that individuals tailor to their personal circumstances. This may prevent many smaller experiences gaining the initial foothold that can lead to more serious issues. It gives young people both an understanding of their feelings and behaviours and the tools to cope with them.
What does Mindfulness for Teenagers offer?
Becoming aware of pressures experienced, naming hopes and fears. Knowing that you are not alone.
An awareness that others too have a fear of missing out or anxiety of not being ‘liked’. To know it is natural to be anxious about high expectations in exams or finding a career path when you don’t know what you want to do. Noting the tendency to compare yourself against the images social media portray as trending. Realise that others feel this way too which can be both reassuring and liberating.
An 8 week course that provides a tool kit to better cope with life's challenges.
The dot.be programme that I lead from the Mindfulness in Schools Project provides a tool kit of short and long awareness practices that you can deploy as needed. From a 15 minute body scan to help you sleep better to a 15 second grounding practice whilst sitting an exam to help calm the nerves and focus the mind.
Accesible in schools, youth settings and 1 to 1
The programme is easily adaptable to meet the needs of participants whether they are a sports team, a drama group, or a class in school, including Sixth Form. The underlying principles remain the same. For some this will be best accessed in a 1 to 1 setting.
Living life in 3D technicolor!
The world can become a richer place if we attune our minds to our chosen focus. Imagine a sports, music or drama performance with 10% more awareness in the moment. When distracting self-talk is ignored, the mind is freed to be creative in writing, designing or innovating. A range of top performers from Katie Perry to LeBron James regularly practise Mindfulness.
In this 7 minute clip teenagers talk about the pressures they face in day to day life and how surprised they are that Mindfulness was a real help.
It also reveals many famous performers and celebrities who also talk about how Mindfulness helps them to deal with the challenges they face.
Thank you to 2bpresent.com for sharing this on YouTube so we can all watch it.
I am very aware that the only person who really knows what it is like is the person living it. My role is not to fix, not to offer advice; my role is listen and guide.
I will guide the 8-week .b programme devised by the Mindfulness in Schools Programme or adapted versions for older teenagers. I will listen to what comes up in young people’s direct experience. What happened in the practice? What happened when you tried this out at home? Sharing thoughts and outcomes is always optional. Whether it is a school based class you want me to run, for a youth organisation or even 1 to 1 – we always start with a conversation. It would be lovely to hear from you.