Breathing Space London

mindfulness for health

BBC London

BBC London website

'Down no more'

Depression affects millions in the UK. As part of the Make a Difference campaign, a member of the London Buddhist Centre describes how an innovative therapy is offering people hope.

One in five people in the UK are expected to suffer from depression at some point in their lives, but the majority will never get any treatment.

In order to combat the root causes of depression, the London Buddhist Centre in Bethnal Green has been providing a novel course of treatment known as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).

This involves group sessions in which people try to understand and overcome the feelings associated with depression, and work to resolve negative patterns of thinking and behaviour.

Maitreyabandhu, a member of the London Buddhist Centre and a champion for MBCT, says: "If we are going to stay well we need to work with the tendencies of our mind. We need to find ways of resolving unhelpful habits of thinking and feeling. MBCT is a practical way to help someone not relapse into depression.

"The London Buddhist Centre is a warm and inviting place where everyone is welcome. You don't need to be a Buddhist and no-one will try to make you into one!"

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy was developed through clinical research and is already recommended in National Institute of Clinical Excellence Guidelines for prevention of relapse into recurrent depression.

The nature of treatment means that it is not suitable for people who are currently depressed, only people who have recovered and fear they may relapse.

More than 200 people have taken part in the MBCT programme, and the positive results so far have prompted Tower Hamlets Council Adult Services to fund 20 assisted places for people who want to take the course.

View 'Down no More: Meditation for Depression' by clicking the play button below.
Made in partnership with BBC London and CSV (3 minutes).