Mindfulness Program Introduced To Students in Park City
Park City has a new plan to fight mental illness using mindfulness. Teachers at the school district are teaching their students techniques like breathing and meditation to calm themselves and control their emotions.
The district initiated the program to address the underlying causes of a trend affecting the state. Teen suicide in Utah jumped 141 percent from 2011 to 2015 according to the Utah Department of Health, and “the state's Student Health and Risk Prevention data showed 24.9 percent of Utah teens had depressive symptoms in 2017.” Park City School District hopes that mindfulness will help the students better cope with their emotions, instead of reacting negatively.
Their three part solution began with suicide response and awareness campaigns. Next, the school counselors were trained in cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness. In 2013 they started the program TRAILS, which stands for Transforming Research Into Action to Improve the Lives of Students.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 youth have either anxiety or a mood disorder. With the introduction of mindfulness into educational environment, may the youth develop emotional intelligence. The children are the future, if we teach them how to control their emotions in a positive way, we are ensuring a better future for the world.