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Evidence For Yoga And Mindfulness In Schools

Evidence For Yoga And Mindfulness In Schools

As we wind up this month with Advances in School Mental Health Promotion Journal , we turn to a topic that is very much in the news:  bringing Yoga and Mindfulness practices into schools, and applying these techniques to school mental health.  This week brings us three pieces dealing with different components of developing and implementing these interventions:

  1. A study on developing a 20-session yoga intervention for at-risk high school youth that showed “students reported improved mood and a high degree of satisfaction with the intervention” but also showed the logistical challenges involved in doing Yoga as an intervention in a real-world school setting.
  2. A study of a mindfulness intervention in 3 New Zealand elementary schools (n=124) that found that “Changes in mindfulness were positively related to changes in well-being. The study results suggest the importance of offering mindfulness-based programs for potential improvements in students’ well-being.” and
  3. A randomized trial that applied a 6-session of yoga and mindfulness for Baltimore public school teachers that helped teachers reduce their stress level.

All 3 of these studies add to a small but growing evidence base for these practices.  What do you think, are you using Yoga and Mindfulness practices in your school social work practice?

About The Author

Michael Kelly

Michael S. Kelly PhD, LCSW is the Lucian and Carol Welch Matusak Professor and Director of the School Mental Health Advanced Practice certificate and Family and School Partnerships Program at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Social Work. Prior to coming to Loyola in Fall 2006, he was a school social worker, family therapist, and youth minister in the Chicago area for 14 years. He has authored over 80 journal articles, books, and book chapters on school social work, evidence-based practice (EBP), and positive youth development. He is a fellow of the Oxford Symposium for School-Based Family Counseling, co-Chair of the Society for Social Work & Research SSW Special Interest Group, Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of School Social Work, and Associate Editor of School Mental Health. He has recently brought his work on school mental health and EBP to researchers and practitioners in England, Rhode Island, Wyoming, Canada, Chile, and Japan.

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