Mental health problems in Children and Young People (CYP) can impact educational attainment and social relationships. One in ten children aged between 5 and 16 years has a clinically diagnosable mental health problem. Rates of emotional disorders such as depression and anxiety have increased by 70% in the past 25 years. There are excess costs associated with these problems, estimated between £11,030 and £59,130 annually per child. The statistics about children and young people's mental health and well-being clearly indicate the need for an early intervention.
Studies revealed that well-conducted mindfulness interventions can improve the mental, emotional, social and physical health and well-being of CYP.
We have co-created a mindfulness programme ‘We are mindful’, encompassing the creative drama-based mindfulness workshops, supported digitally by a web-based solution for pupils that can be accessed via desktops, laptops and mobile devices, comprising of a friendly, dynamic and interactive experience, to promote positive mental health in CYP. The digital toolkit also equips the school staff to assess emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression in pupils using evidence-based screening tools. The digital solution allows interaction before and after the workshop, including consolidation of interactive mindfulness education, evidence-based rating scales and workshop evaluation. The architecture for this concept was originally co-designed with CYP, school staff, and registered mental health nurse. A qualitative survey conducted recently in various schools, generated an extremely positive feedback for our concept, indicating a strong evidence of demand and potential.