Young People’s Mental Health is Getting Worse but Mindfulness Training isn’t the Answer, Large UK Study Suggests

A new study has shed some light on the state of young people’s mental health in the UK, revealing that it is getting worse. The research also suggests that mindfulness training may not be the answer to the problem.

The Study

The study, which was conducted by the University of Cambridge and funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), analyzed data from nearly 10,000 young people between the ages of 11 and 16. The participants were from various regions of the UK and represented a range of ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. The study was carried out over a period of four years.

The results revealed that young people’s mental health is deteriorating, with a significant rise in emotional problems such as depression and anxiety. The study found that 13% of the participants suffered from a diagnosable mental health disorder, and there was a marked increase in self-harm and suicidal thoughts in the group.

The Role of Mindfulness Training

Mindfulness training has been touted as a solution to the problem of poor mental health in young people. However, the study found that such training may not be the answer. The researchers discovered that mindfulness training did not lead to a significant improvement in the participants’ mental wellbeing.

The study’s lead author, Professor Tamsin Ford, said: “This study provides some of the strongest evidence we have to date that mindfulness training may not be the panacea that it has been claimed to be. While mindfulness is still an important tool in mental health, there needs to be a more multifaceted approach to address the wider issues surrounding the decline in young people’s mental health.”

What Needs to Change?

The study’s findings have implications for policymakers, health professionals, and educators. Professor Ford emphasized the need for a more comprehensive approach to tackling young people’s mental health issues. This approach should include a focus on improving living conditions, addressing poverty, reducing inequality, and ensuring that young people have access to high-quality mental health services.

  • The study found that young people’s mental health is getting worse in the UK.
  • Emotional problems, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts are on the rise.
  • Mindfulness training does not appear to be the panacea it has been claimed to be.
  • A more multifaceted approach is needed to tackle young people’s mental health issues.