Mindfulness in Public Policy to be Explored at NUI Galway Conference

Jun 01 2018 Posted: 14:53 IST

Impact of mindfulness in health, education and justice systems to be the subject of “Ireland’s Mindful Journey” Event on 14 June

The development and impact of policy relating to mindfulness will be explored at a conference in NUI Galway on Thursday, 14 June. The “Ireland’s Mindful Journey” event will explore how mindfulness is steadily making its way into our health, education and justice systems from the ground up, to examine policy in these areas.   
Mindful Way @ NUI Galway was established in 2015, and the community has grown to approximately 800 staff, students and members of the local community who participate in shared practice and events across campuses in Galway, Shannon and Letterkenny. Mindful activities relating to teaching, research and the practice of mindfulness are ongoing at the University, where mindful spaces are also being created.
Speaking about the forthcoming event, Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice President for Research at NUI Galway, said: “As mental health is becoming more of a priority issue for governments and policy makers, this conference will share experiences of mindfulness programmes nationally and internationally with a view to developing best practice and informing policy.
“Through research and a range of activities on our campuses, we are exploring how mindfulness contributes to improved wellbeing in our society. While there is often a focus on meditation, mindfulness is about far more than that. Its techniques can change how we relate to ourselves and to those around us by keeping us in the present moment to better respond to the situations we face. While there are many successful initiatives, mindfulness has yet to permeate policy in many areas, and we hope that these examples from the health, justice and education systems can highlight the potential for mindfulness to transform culture in a range of settings.” 
Speakers include:

  • Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Education with special responsibility for Higher Education 
  • Kate O’Flaherty, Head of Health and Wellbeing at Healthy Ireland, a Government-led initiative which promotes physical and mental health, and wellbeing
  • Dr Ann Caulfield of Mindfulness Matters, a Mayo-based initiative, which has endeavoured to embed mindfulness into primary level education since 2011
  • Professor Craig Hassed of Monash University in Australia, whose teaching, research and clinical interests include mindfulness-based stress management
  • Dr Paul D’Alton, Head and Clinical Lead of the Department of Psycho-oncology at St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin and Founder and Co-Director of the MSc in Mindfulness Based Interventions in University College Dublin
  • Mary Lovegrove of Mindful Nation Ireland, a not-for-profit organisation supporting and encouraging mindfulness and compassion initiatives in public life.

The conference will be of particular interest to researchers and policy makers working in the area of mindfulness. For more information and to book a place at this one day free event, visit www.nuigalway.ie/mindfulway.

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