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Mindfulness-based self-help for NHS staff

Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) have become increasingly popular in recent years. MBIs are usually offered in a group format over eight sessions and there is good evidence that MBIs are helpful at reducing stress and improving wellbeing. However, they are usually offered in a group therapy format which is not available to everyone, it is not always possible for people to attend a group therapy (e.g. due to work or childcare commitments) and many people are reluctant to attend groups. However, there is growing evidence that self-help MBIs are helpful, most often this takes the form of MBI books or online courses.

Finding it difficult to find the time to attend an MBI group may especially true for NHS staff, many of whom work full time and have young families. At the same time, working in mental health care can be particularly challenging because of the emotional demands of the work.

We have a number of funded studies evaluate the potential of self-help MBIs for NHS staff. Depending on findings, we hope that this study will help to widen access to mindfulness courses for staff.