Mindful Monkey.

Taking things into your own hands

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Recently there was a series of 3 shows on BBC Radio 4 which are a great example of how the media can really do it’s job: informing people about important things, Priceless! The time would be well spent listening to these very well informed shows.

Link to Inside Health Podcast – 12 August – Conflicted Health Part 1: Are conflicts of interest in medicine out of control and undermining public trust, or an over-hyped concern? Dr Mark Porter investigates the hidden influences driving your doctor.

Link to Inside Health Podcast – 19 August – Conflicted Health Part 2: Dr Mark Porter examines the hidden conflicts of interest that may affect how your GP or specialist treats you. He discovers that the advice patient groups give you is also not immune to the influences of organisations such as pharmaceutical companies.

Link to Inside Health Podcast – 26 August – Conflicted Health Part 3: Dr Mark Porter examines how powerful lobbying groups like the food and alcohol industries steer public health policy in the direction that suits them most.

(Another excellent source is a book called “Bad Pharma: How Medicine is Broken, and How We Can Fix It” By a doctor and science writer, Ben Goldacre.)

For me the powerful lesson behind all this is that the priorities of the ‘Health Industry’ often may not be entirely about our welfare.

And that instead of putting all our trust in them we might do well to take our health and wellbeing into our own hands as much as possible. How?

Some regular exercise, mindfulness practice, eating mindfully, compassion for ourselves and others: there is plenty of evidence that these things actually do work and there are no side effects, other than making the world a better place for others as well.

Venue update for the Mindfulness for Health and Wellbeing – 10 week course

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Demand of the course was greater than anticipated so we have changed the venue to a more spacious one. The new course location is:

The Woodhouse Room
4th Floor
Charles Wilson Building
University of Leicester

The Woodhouse Room is located on the 4th Floor accessible via lifts and is a lovely room overlooking Victoria Park.

There will be free onsite parking during the course. Come in via Entrance 1 (near sports centre) then drive round and park on campus. Charles Wilson is the tall building in the centre of the campus. If asked at the gate then tell them you are on a course in the Charles Wilson building.

This link takes you to a map of the university  (In the menu on the top left click on Charles Wilson).

There are a few places left so if you were thinking about coming then sign up soon.

Look forward to seeing you soon

Mental health treatment is stretching services to the limit report warns

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Mindful Monkey is here to contribute to a discussion of how we can find a way to be well in the world that we find ourselves in. So this article in the Guardian really brings things into sharp focus. It says:

Mental health services are “straining at the seams” to cope with the growing number of people with mental illnesses, according to a report published on Monday. As well as the immense distress caused to the millions of people with mental ill-health and their families, mental disorders cost the economy more than £100bn a year, according to calculations by the Mental Health Foundation. And unless the prevalence of mental illness falls, 2 million more adults and 100,000 more children will need treatment in 2030 compared with the figures for this year.

More effort needs to be put into preventing mental illness in the first place, said Bhugra, who is also the president-elect of the World Psychiatric Association and co-chair of the panel that drew up the report.

“Lacking a ‘cure’ for mental illness, a reduction in the number of people across the UK developing mental disorders appears to us to be the only way that mental health services will adequately cope with demand in 20-30 years’ time,” he said.

via Mental health treatment is stretching services to the limit, report warns | Society | The Guardian.

This last point is very important, it is talking about prevention. And we know that there is rapidly accumulating evidence that regular Mindfulness practice improves mental health. Mindfulness classes and resources are becoming increasingly popular. Watch this space for our Mindfulness Classes; in the meantime feel free to go to our ‘Downloads’ page and get started.

Mental Health & Women


An organisation called Platform 51 has revealed that 20% of women have suffered from a common mental health problem (compared to 12% of men). Further, they point out that almost 33% of women have taken anti-depressants.  Mental health is about more than just an absence of symptoms of illness. It is about quality of life, relationships and how far people can fulfil their potential. There is still a great deal of mystery surrounding mental health problems. Think of the terms “Mood”, “Self-esteem”, “Confidence” and “Stress”. These are all aspects open to change and development. A better understanding of what constitutes mental health and that there are effective psychological approaches available can help promote a sense of hope.  Hope is a good place to start.


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