NHS staff will be trained up to deliver mindfulness therapy to people with depression, thanks to a new training scheme launched by the Sussex Mindfulness Centre in Hove.
The centre, which delivers specialist mental health services, has teamed up with other mindfulness centres across the UK to offer the training.
It will see 48 people who currently work in NHS therapy services across the country taught how to offer mindfulness sessions to people who suffer from depression.
Sussex Mindfulness Centre, run by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, is led by consultant clinical psychologist Dr Clara Strauss and clinical psychologist Dr Robert Marx.
Dr Marx said: "We are delighted to have just launched The UK Mindfulness Centre's collaboration training in delivering Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) with our colleagues in other mindfulness centres across four sites in England. This training should ultimately make mindfulness available as an effective therapy to more people who suffer from depression across the country.
"Depression is common - 1 in 10 people in the UK experience symptoms at any one time - and relapse rates are high. After two episodes of depression, 70 per cent of people will experience a relapse, so it's really important to intervene early to help people to learn skills to stay well.
"Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy is an eight-session group programme that helps people to develop mindfulness skills through mindfulness practice and discussion.
"We are really excited to be helping to shape the mindfulness agenda nationwide and to be part of this initiative to train more teachers so that more people can benefit from this effective therapy."
National research has shown that mindfulness significantly reduces the risk that people with a history of recurrent depression will experience a relapse. Although it has been recommended as a treatment for depression since 2004 by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), it is not available on the NHS in many areas of the UK.
But Health Education England has now commissioned the training of 48 new mindfulness teachers from across the UK, led by the Sussex Mindfulness Centre, in partnership with Nottingham Centre for Mindfulness, the University of Exeter, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust and Oxford Mindfulness Centre.
For more information about this programme and Sussex Mindfulness Centre, visit: http://sussexmindfulnesscentre.nhs.uk