Mindfulness classes will now be offered within DEIS schools
A survey conducted by the Irish Primary Principals Network showed more than a quarter of its members had seen a rise in anxiety within their schools.
With anxiety and worry becoming a more predominant factor in the lives of children, Minister for Education, Richard Bruton, has introduced plans to train teachers, so as mindfulness can become a regular part of the school day.
The strategy is to introduce large-scale training within 900 DEIS schools across the country where teachers can apply over the course of the next three years to learn more about how they can teach students about their emotions and cope with everyday situations.
The two programmes used to build resilience and coping methods are known as Incredible Years (shown to reduce behavioural difficulties) and the Friends programme (helps to reduce anxiety).
According to the Irish Times, Mr Bruton said, both programmes were internationally renowned and would help children to develop emotional resilience which is “key for flourishing in modern society.”
It’s expected that students within their junior cycle at school will receive around 300 hours of mindfulness education of the next three years, focusing on their mental, physical and social wellbeing.
According to the HSE, mindfulness is about being aware of what is happening at this very present moment in time and not making any judgements about our experiences. It allows everyone to take a step back from being on automatic, leaving behind unhelpful ways of thinking or unconstructive ways of responding to events.
By learning mindfulness, “it is possible to develop a new habit that helps to weaken old, unhelpful and automatic thinking habits.
“It aims to develop a skill to place you in a better position to step back from these unhelpful habits that are causing distress and preventing positive action.”
Hmm, maybe we should all try practising some mindfulness.