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November 2015 NUI Galway Continues Its Journey To Becoming A Mindful University
Lack of ability to stop and reflect is contributing to rise in mental health issues in society, and the World Health Organisation’s predictions indicate that by 2030, depression will be the leading cause of disease burden globally
NUI Galway will host two mindfulness-based events this November following the very successful Mindful Way Conference hosted on campus on the 9-10 October 2015. These events are the next steps towards integrating mindfulness into the University’s culture.
NUI Galway will host the first in its Mindful Way Lecture Series starting with, ‘Mindful Responses to the Stresses of Student Life’. The lecture will feature guest speaker, Dr Julieta Galante from the University of Cambridge on Wednesday, 18 November at 5.45pm in the University’s Institute for Lifecourse and Society Building. The event is open to researchers, students, student counsellors and advisors, healthcare professionals, mindfulness practitioners, and anyone with an interest in mindfulness.
Dr Galante will share details of a research project she is currently leading at the University of Cambridge. The research is offering over 500 students an eight-week mindfulness training course with a view to measuring its effectiveness in managing stress amongst students, particularly at exam time, as well as investigating if it helps in other factors such as sleep and wellbeing. The project will also explore whether the mindfulness training affects students’ use of mental health treatment and support services.
Tibetan Buddhist Monk, Gelong Thubten, based at the Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery in Dumfriesshire in Scotland, and one of the very popular expert speakers at the conference, will return to NUI Galway to deliver a day of introductory classes on mindfulness, as part of the University’s ‘Mindful Way Initiative’. The classes are open to all University staff and students and will take place on Wednesday, 11 November in the Aula Maxima (Lower) at NUI Galway.
NUI Galway’s Mindful Way Conference shared the evidence-based impact of mindfulness on students and staff performance, well-being and culture. The University is now focusing on the benefits of integrating mindfulness within the University setting to continue to serve the 21st century needs in delivering its core principles: teaching, research and contribution to society through innovation and entrepreneurship, and understanding the role mindfulness can play in providing a more enriching experience for students and staff.
Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway is starting on this journey to adopt a mindfulness culture. The University recently hosted a conference of mindfulness experts, leaders in society and entrepreneurs, along with students, staff and university leaders, to discuss the importance of mindfulness in higher educational institutions. The conference represented our first steps towards understanding the role mindfulness can play in providing a more enriching experience for staff and students. There was such an enthusiastic response that we now want to build on that momentum to see what can be achieved collectively through a more mindful approach.”
Professor Joshi continued, “There was tremendous interest at the conference and a sincere willingness to take steps towards becoming a Mindful University from both an individual level and the institutional level. We are keen to connect the well-being of our university community with mindfulness, to enhance the performance of individuals, their various units and ultimately the University. We want to ensure that mindfulness is brought into the University with the solid backing of scientific evidence.”
Dr Pat Morgan, Vice President for the Student Experience at NUI Galway, said: “Both of these mindfulness-based events will show students how important it is to take time out from their busy lives and their digital devices, and learn about the benefits to their wellbeing by focusing on the present moment.”
To register for the Mindful Way lecture with Dr Julieta Galante visit: www.nuigalway.ie/mindfulway
The introductory classes on mindfulness with Gelong Thubten are free of charge and available to University staff and students on a drop-in basis, no pre-registration required.