For today’s special show on teen mental health, Rachel Reist, LCSW, Mindfulness Programs Coordinator at Davis Behavioral Health, joined us to discuss efforts to combat the rising rates of stress among teens by using a simple practice being taught in several Davis School District schools called mindfulness.
Reist explained that mindfulness is a way to work with our central nervous system– learning to bring attention to the present moment in a way that is compassionate, nonreactive, and intentional. Mindfulness also includes heartfulness, or the cultivation of positive mind states such as gratitude, compassion, generosity, and kindness.
It is a universal prevention tool, a foundational set of skills to build resilience to stress.
In response to a rising call volume at Davis Behavioral Health for adults with anxiety and depression symptoms, professionals began teaching Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction classes to the community.
In 2016, in response to requests from community members and school personnel, Davis Behavioral Health began their first pilot teaching ‘Mindful Schools’ in an elementary school, and then began using ‘Learning to Breathe’ in secondary schools.
They are now focusing on training school counselors and teachers to teach mindfulness directly to their students, and have trained school personnel in 15 secondary schools and 33 elementary schools.
The program has grown to include a dedicated facility–the Davis Mindfulness Center opening April 2019.
The public is invited to join Davis Behavioral Health in 100 Days of Self-Care–(no cost), an immediate resource people can access today, including free online support with guided mindfulness practices and a weekly Facebook LIVE. Sign up through davismindfulness.org.
To find a mindfulness instructor in your area, visit Mindfulness Utah, a network of qualified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Instructors & other mindfulness teachers throughout the state at mindfulnessutah.com.