I have been a teacher for 28 years, a Headteacher for 13 years and, at the age of 52, this much I know about whether mindfulness training has the potential to shift the adolescent population away from psychopathology and towards improved mental health and well-being?
In case you haven’t noticed, I am interested in improving mental health in our schools…
On 24 April, the Pathfinder TSA based at Archbishop Holgate’s School, York is hosting the totally free “Let’s Talk About Mental Health” conference; to register please click on the logo below:
At the conference I am running a workshop with Liz Lord, the School Liaison Officer for the MYRIAD research project based at the University of Oxford. What follows explains MYRIAD and invites schools to help answer the question: Does mindfulness training have the potential to shift the adolescent population away from psychopathology and towards improved mental health and well-being?
If you would like to join the MYRIAD research project please email: myriad@psych.ox.ac.uk



MYRIAD research project – University of Oxford

Opportunity for UK secondary schools

Here at the University of Oxford we are looking for Headteachers, senior leaders and teachers to take part in a national research project funded by The Wellcome Trust, looking at the effectiveness of introducing mindfulness in schools.

Adolescence is a time of significant change and development, and around half of all people who will go on to suffer from mental ill health will first be unwell during these years. Learning skills that promote flourishing, build mental strength and wellbeing in adolescence could help people be healthier in the long term. The research question The MYRIAD project will address is ‘Does mindfulness training have the potential to shift the adolescent population away from psychopathology and towards improved mental health and well-being?’

We are looking for schools to work jointly with us to ensure the highest quality research will take place, helping us understand more fully young peoples’ emotional wellbeing and resilience and whether a mindfulness approach can help with this and promote flourishing for all pupils. We will compare good quality social and emotional learning already being taught in schools, to a class based mindfulness programme. Half of involved schools will continue teaching as usual and the other half of schools will be trained to deliver a mindfulness programme to pupils. All related training costs and supply cover will be provided by the project. We fully appreciate that each and every school will have different approaches to support resilience and mindfulness is one approach that is showing potential. We need good quality research to investigate this in detail. The project, called MYRIAD, is currently recruiting schools for a large scale randomised-control trial which is hoping to gather data from 25,000 pupils in 76 schools across the UK. We are looking for schools who would be committed to excellent research and have no prior experience in providing a mindfulness programme.  It will be a fantastic opportunity to develop links with Oxford and to help raise the profile of scientific research within your school.

You know your own schools the best and we would work closely with you to support your school through the research process. We would ask for a main contact, a research lead, who would navigate us through the complexities and the practicalities of working with your school setting. This person, ideally a member of SLT, would help us in all aspects of the research and advise us in all dealings with your school. This would be an excellent CPD opportunity for someone interested in schools-based research and being part of a large-scale school study.

Participating would enable your school and especially your pupils to gain valuable insight into high quality scientific research processes and be an opportunity for your pupils to see ‘research in action’.

For more information about the project please visit www.myriadproject.org. We would like to hear from you if you are Headteacher or teacher at a secondary school who is interested in the question of how to promote emotional health and wellbeing in your pupils. We are expecting a very high demand for places on this project so please register you interest as soon as possible.

Please contact the MYRIAD team at: myriad@psych.ox.ac.uk

The MYRIAD project is a collaboration between teams at the following universities:

The University of Oxford: Professors Mark Williams & Willem Kuyken

Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge: Professor Tim Dalgleish

University College London Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore

King’s College London

University of Exeter

We also have international collaborators including Penn State and the University of Minnesota.

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