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Title: Cultivating mindfulness for university students
Authors: Labranche, Danielle
Keywords: mindfulness;well-being;university students;art-based methods;mental health;group work
Issue Date: 16-Jul-2019
Abstract: Mental health wellness in post-secondary institutions is a growing concern as students are prone to experiencing mental health related challenges such as stress, anxiety, and depression. Educational institutions lack comprehensive support services in order to effectively meet students’ mental health care needs. Post-secondary institutions have the obligation to ensure that mental health supports are in place in order to help students effectively manage their stress, enhance their psychological well-being, and develop coping skills so that they can achieve academic success. My study explored the suitability and the effectiveness of the Holistic Arts- Based Program (HAP) with university students. HAP is a 12-week arts-based mindfulness-based intervention (MBI). Arts-based mindfulness methods can help to promote health and psychological well-being. Furthermore, they are fun, engaging, and can help facilitate a deeper understanding of emotions, thoughts, and feelings. Fifteen students participated in two different HAP groups. Pre- and post-HAP individual interviews were conducted, and students completed the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire, and the Ryff Psychological Well-Being scale. Paired t-tests indicated a statistically significant increase in participants’ level of mindfulness and psychological well-being after taking part in the program. Results of the qualitative thematic analysis revealed four main themes: (1) the benefits of HAP in a group format, (2) the cultivation of mindfulness, (3) the benefits of making art, and (4) the impact of HAP on participants' relationships with others. I conclude that HAP can contribute to the improvement of students’ mental health by providing them with effective coping strategies in order to more effectively manage the stressors associated with university life. Post-secondary institutions are encouraged to consider implementing HAP as a strengths-based mental health promotion initiative.
Appears in Collections:Social Work - Master's Major Papers

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