Oxford University increases Mindfulness Practice Course fee to £350

The 9 session (called by Oxford ’8 week’ – since the 9 sessions with them are spread over 8 weeks – ours is over 6 weeks) Mindfulness Practice course at the excellent Oxford Mindfulness Centre has just increased its fee from £250 to £350.

Just as well, then, that hei! members are getting a course adapted for the lifestyles of people in the arts and entertainment, but with exactly the same goals, free.

A 9 session Mindfulness Practice course is a pre-requisite for working in mindfulness research and for considering including or majoring in mindfulness in a Supporting Career.

Not to mention that, along with learning proper self-hypnosis from a reliable teacher, mindfulness is possibly the best skill anyone in the arts and entertainment can learn to help manage the hours and the stress and the demands.

£350  FREE!

Every little helps.

Grants still available for improving emotional wellbeing in the dance community

The trustees of The ELK-Foundation announced today that due to re-organisation of the grant system, the funds currently not taken up to improve and sustain emotional wellbeing in the dance community would have to be re-allocated by 26th July – most likely to musicians’ projects.

A donation to research reducing anxiety amongst people working on productions involving music and / or dance was made in April.  The music industry has been quick to engage with the hei! process; less so the dance community.

Organisations representing people who work in productions that include dance, as well as dance companies themselves are eligible to apply up to midnight BST on the 26th.

Trustees are concerned that dance is less represented than other disciplines currently.

London Mindfulness Course for hei! members starts on Wednesday 17th July

hei! members are asked to look out for an email inviting you to attend an 8 week Mindfulness Practice Course completely free-of-charge.

If you haven’t received one of these emails (they were sent out on Monday 8th July), and you’d like to go, please contact us.

Most weeks, the Course begins at 1.15pm and lasts 2¼ hours – so we finish at 3.30pm – but teachers will be available for questions and advice afterwards. There are three exceptions: Two combined sessions and one Saturday. Details are below.

The Course is specifically designed to let participants miss a session and catch up via distance learning (a video and a phone call or Skype / FaceTime call) but if you want to use this Course as part of a pathway to become a Mindfulness Teacher (please see the blog coming up soon) you must attend 6 of the total 9 sessions that form this Mindfulness Practice Course.

Days on which these sessions will take place are:

Session 1: Awareness and automatic pilot W17/7/13   13.15 – 15.30

Session 2: Living in our heads   W24/7/13   13.15 – 15.30

Session 3: Gathering the scattered mind  W31/7/13   13.15-15.30

Session 4: Recognising aversion and Session 5: Allowing / Letting be  W7/8/13  13.15 – 16.40  Please note that if participants cannot stay the extra time for this double-session, they can leave in the break and study at home. But see our note about counting this course towards  becoming a Mindfulness Teacher

Session 6: Thoughts are not facts  W14/8/13   13.15 – 15.30

Session 7: A day of Mindful Practice   Saturday 17/8/13   10.00 – 16.15 An alternative ‘All-Day’ session of practice can be chosen, although it is often thought advantageous to do this day with your student-peers

Session 8: ”How can I best take care of myself?”  and Session 9:  Maintaining and extending new learning  W21/8/13   13.15 – 16.30

A blog about what to expect will be going up soon.

It is important to emphasise these two things:

Overwhelmingly, the most important thing about any course about mindfulness is what you do between the sessions.  Mindfulness can be practiced in bed, in a queue, when you feel the need to calm yourself, but it also needs you to acknowledge that sometimes you need to go off and find somewhere quiet, just to be.

Secondly, although mindfulness is at least 2,500 years old, and based on many Buddhist ideas, this course is entirely secular.  Whether you have religion in your life or not, this mindfulness course is designed for everyone.

We are sure you will enjoy this extraordinary and, for many, life-changing experience.


Are (some) powerful people re-thinking what is important?

Tadhg Ó Séaghdha updates the blog Why do we just accept what powerful people think is important? 

It advocated that Happiness should be reflected in how the powerful measure profit and worthiness – as well as Money – because for many people dosh isn’t everything in life

In the Blog Section we wrote the hei! team’s thoughts on Oxfam Scotland’s call for a new prosperity measurement that focuses on equality rather than just economic growth.

Lots of views from hei! members, though most by email directly to me, rather than the blog, and mostly sending me interesting information like that about the campaign “Action for Happiness“.

Do download the excellent Happiness Pack from the site. It’s all rather nourishing stuff for those who don’t make money their first priority. It was for this campaign that John Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction, did a talk at the Friends’ House in Euston, London just after the International Mindfulness Conference in Chester in March and to introduce…

…the second edition of Richard Layard’s warming book Happiness: Lessons from a New Science.

And a great link to the news that The ELK-Foundation’s first 8 week Mindfulness Practice course is free to hei! members. Most institutions price this course at about £250 (about €290 or US$370).

UK’s first-ever residential rehabilitation clinic for arts & entertainment professionals gets seeding donation

For the past 10 years, clinicians at The ELK-Foundation have been dealing with the particular problems of high levels of anxiety, exhaustion and depression in the arts and entertainment industry, alongside those of people in stressful professions like medicine, the law, air-traffic control and the services.

They support their clients through one-to-one sessions, group clinics and, now, thanks to a reader of The Stage, with specialist residential rehabilitation at a new hei! Clinic.

The article in The Stage, about The ELK-Foundation’s “hei! – A Healthier Entertainment Industry” campaigntouched a nerve with a reader who asked what specific thing might improve the emotional wellbeing of people in entertainment and the arts most. For 10 years, The ELK-Foundation has believed that a residential rehabilitation clinic specialising in people who perform and those who work with them would do this, so the generous sum will help to start a residential facility in Hertfordshire and improve the availability of day clinics.  The donation was made on the condition of anonymity, but hei! director Janet Rawson has been allowed to confirm that the money has been given not by a performer, but by someone ‘whose career has depended on the enormous talent of those on and behind the stage’.

The ELK-Foundation’s Chief Scientist, Professor Ray Iles said that this ‘hugely generous donation’ will also help to continue research identifying the specific biomedical needs of entertainment industry workers caused by the constant pressure of serial deadlines, moving from job to job, late night working and eating at unusual times. Ray continued: ‘Pioneering work by the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine and ELK, providing day clinics, has shown that specialist support for people in entertainment and the arts can make an enormous difference.  Our donor’s kindness means that we can build on that work with more research and concentrated, quiet care in a magical setting for those who will most benefit from a respite from their anxiety and specialist care.’

Janet Rawson believes that it is critical that ELK scientists – and health professionals at The hei! Clinic – talk to, and work with, as many organisations concerned about the emotional wellbeing of people in this sector as possible.  ’We desperately want to work with clinicians in other health-in-entertainment-and-the-arts organisations, and those currently in none.  We believe that we need to pool resources and knowledge in order to improve the lives of people who feel anxious, depressed and unhappy.

Excess-stress, and its frequent companion, the depressive condition Post-slow-stress fatigue, are inherent within the entertainment industry and regaining control over these debilitating and often harmful conditions is all about understanding behaviours. This donation to the “hei! – A healthier entertainment industry” campaign will help open three new day clinics specifically to address these issues plus the residential facility, bringing much needed support to arts and entertainment professionals.

Whatever your role in the industry, if you are interested in the work that hei! is doing, you can sign up to be a member at www.heathier-entertainment-industry.org  There is no cost and no commitment. Membership gives access to hei! work opportunities specifically designed for people within the industry.

hei! members pioneering Mindfulness and Fasting initiative

The next 6 months will see hei! members pioneering a new 3-part programme designed to improve the quality of life for people over 40.

hei! members will receive £120 per week for helping psychologists and psychotherapists at the National Institute for Clinical Research into Stress (Nicrs) – and biomedical scientists at The ELK-Foundation – formulate the ground-breaking regime that comprises:-

1) Individually tailored and supported mindfulness courses – these have been shown to combat recurring depression and increase psychological calm and sense of wellbeing

Mindfulness is known to help with concentration in times of stress, so hei! is keen to explore ways in which its members can gain benefit from this simple-to-do technique, both in their work and outside it.

2) Easy-to-achieve forms of Intermittent Fasting – supported by self-hypnosis and mindful exercises

3) The individual stress monitoring invented by Nicrs and ELK known as Bespoke Stress Profiling. This was the main subject of research work undertaken with the first group of hei! volunteers at the end of 2012.

Monday 4th February – Covent Garden

In the entertainment industry? Come along to our next Get-together.

Improve your health, improve your bank balance.

hei! – the healthier-entertainment industry campaign – is run by the National Institute for Clinical Research into Stress and the registered charity, The ELK-Foundation.

Please email get-togethers@healthier-entertainment-industry.org for your place – you’ll be very welcome.

Get-togethers in Central London and Brighton

Our first get-together was held on Monday 22nd October 2012 with the intention of finding out how a health research charity and entertainment professionals could work together to their mutual benefit.

We did!

Both sides have a lot more to learn, of course.  But it was a very fine start.

Members from many areas of the entertainment industry attended: actors, dancers, musical directors, musical theatre professionals, opera singers, producers, stage managers and writers. It was relaxed, fun and informative.
The session started with an overview of stress from biomedical scientist Professor Ray Iles and psychologists and psychotherapists from The Elk-Foundation [link to www.elk-foundation.org] which covered:

What stress is -

How it can be very useful – not least to entertainment professionals -

How it can overwhelm us sometimes  -

How we can harness its energy to improve our personal performance -

How we can predict and control our personal stress levels to avoid -

  • fear,
  • panic
  • and stop it controlling us!

The get-together allowed us to explore hypnosis and mindfulness, two further potential ways to control stress.

If you are a professional working in any part of entertainment industry you are more than welcome to come along and find out how to improve your health and earn some extra cash doing it.

Future dates are below. As places are popular and limited you will need a ticket, which is free – please email janet@healthier-entertainment-industry.org Travel claims welcome.

4th February 13,  2.00-4.00,  Central London

6th May 13, 2.00-4.00,  Brighton

Get-together Central London – next Monday

Our very first get-together, next Monday 22nd, will be fun and informative. If you are a professional working in any medium of entertainment, you are welcome to come along and find out how to improve your health and earn some extra cash doing it.
You need a ticket – please email janet@healthier-entertainment-industry.org
10am – 2pm Central London – travel claims welcome