Effectiveness of the Mindfulness in Schools Programme: non-randomised controlled feasibility study

Br J Psychiatry. 2013 Aug;203(2):126-31. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.113.126649. Epub 2013 Jun 20.


Background: Mindfulness-based approaches for adults are effective at enhancing mental health, but few controlled trials have evaluated their effectiveness among young people.

Aims: To assess the acceptability and efficacy of a schools-based universal mindfulness intervention to enhance mental health and well-being.

Method: A total of 522 young people aged 12-16 in 12 secondary schools either participated in the Mindfulness in Schools Programme (intervention) or took part in the usual school curriculum (control).

Results: Rates of acceptability were high. Relative to the controls, and after adjusting for baseline imbalances, children who participated in the intervention reported fewer depressive symptoms post-treatment (P = 0.004) and at follow-up (P = 0.005) and lower stress (P = 0.05) and greater well-being (P = 0.05) at follow-up. The degree to which students in the intervention group practised the mindfulness skills was associated with better well-being (P<0.001) and less stress (P = 0.03) at 3-month follow-up.

Conclusions: The findings provide promising evidence of the programme's acceptability and efficacy.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Awareness*
  • Child
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Mental Health*
  • School Health Services
  • Schools*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Students / psychology*
  • Treatment Outcome