comment by GeorginaGroome ·
2018-09-03T19:12:38.707Z · EA(p) · GW(p)
Mindfulness And Effective Altruism: Can The Former Help The Latter?
In the UK, poor mental health is the main cause of disability amongst adults of working age. 1 in 4 people experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives and an estimated 15% of people at work suffer symptoms of a mental health condition. Depression, anxiety, stress, compassion fatigue and burnout are the most common sources of mental distress and disturbance in the workplace. These conditions are exacerbated amongst the helping and caring professions and are considered largely preventable...
I just wanted to write and introduce myself….I have been a member of the EA community for a few years and feel now is the time to make my first post. My background is in mental health, research and psychological wellbeing, and since studying Bioethics in 2013 I have become increasingly influenced by EA.
Last year I spent some time at CEA as a Mental Health Research Assistant Intern. I wrote several reports drawing on the existing evidence base in the psychological sciences exploring ways to protect and promote optimum psychological wellbeing. A significant component of the wellbeing in the workplace initiative I proposed included following the Mindful Initiative (2015) recommendations
offering an 8-week, 2x hours per week mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) course to employees as a health intervention aimed at addressing occupational mental health issues including work-related stress.
The emerging evidence for secular based MBCT interventions in the workplace is encouraging. The reason why this is likely to be particularly important for EA, speaks to the shared ethics, values, virtues and character strengths explicit in MBI, see Baer (2015)
and the personal attributes / qualities we may wish to cultivate within the EA community. My particular interests include qualities like compassion (for self and others), friendliness, openness, kindness, gratitude and wisdom.
Last weekend I attended the EA Blackpool Hotel Life Review discussing some of these ideas and my presentation was received with interest. I have agreed to run some mindfulness-based meditation sessions at EAG London next month where I look forward to meeting many more EAs.
Finally, I have recently received an offer to study for a DPhil at Oxford University (Department of Psychiatry supervised by Oxford Mindfulness Centre (OMC)) exploring mindfulness in the workplace with a specific interest in the EA community.
OMC is one of the leading institutions in the world for mindfulness training and research and has recently been nominated to receive a Chair in Perpetuity in Mindfulness and the Psychological Sciences so this is a very exciting, topical and world leading research opportunity. Unfortunately, following EA grants decision to not fund tuition fees / stipends this year, I have not yet secured funding (despite being due to start next month).
If you have any ideas, thoughts or comments regarding funding streams or an interest in this area please feel free to get in touch. I would be delighted to hear from you.
Thank you for reading, Georgina
Replies from: LaurenMcG
↑ comment by LaurenMcG ·
2018-09-06T07:02:51.251Z · EA(p) · GW(p)
Lovely meeting you at the EA Hotel Gina :) the importance of this research has been growing on me in the past few weeks, and I’m in full support of your work. Even your short workshop on the topic significantly changed my life (perspectives, behaviour and priorities). I’ll keep an eye and ear out, and just let me know if there’s any way specific way I can help.
Also, I’m trying to access the link but it’s broken :(
Replies from: GeorginaGroome
↑ comment by GeorginaGroome ·
2018-09-07T14:13:00.730Z · EA(p) · GW(p)
Thank you for your kind words :)
As you may remember, I spent last week at Oxford Mindfulness Centre Summer School being taught by Prof Mark Williams, Prof Willem Kuyken, Chis Cullen and Prof Ruth Baer....their collective experience and teaching was profound. They spoke so eloquently about the confluence of ancient wisdom and modern psychological science and how compassion (for ourselves and others) can be cultivated. I really believe the EA community could be greatly enhanced if everyone made taking care of themselves (and each other) a priority, and there is an emerging evidence base for how best to do this...
I am however running out of time to secure funding as I have to pay tuition and college fees on 1st October.
Sorry the links didn't work - here they are again:-