North East Connected

Mindfulness Company Leads the Way

A NORTH East social enterprise is leading the rest of the UK when it comes to helping people tackle stress and anxiety.

Living Mindfully, a County Durham-based community interest company works with individuals and organisations to address the strains of modern life through a range of mindfulness programmes.

The company is not only one of the longest established mindfulness training organisations but is also the only one currently delivering a county wide, referral only service.

The service began in 2009 and is commissioned by Public Health, County Durham, and Public Health, Darlington.

In the past five years more than 3,500 people have been referred to The Living Mindfully Mindfulness programme, which has proved so successful, it is now being rolled out more widely across the region.

The programme incorporates mindfulness meditation and individually tailored instruction to provide the skills to address stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain.

Mindfulness is recommended by NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence).

Now, Living Mindfully founder, Gary Heads, is hoping other councils will follow Durham and Darlington’s lead in making mindfulness more widely accessible.

“Research has shown how effective mindfulness is in helping people cope with all manner of stresses and anxieties,” he said, “and it provides them with skills they can draw on through the rest of their lives.

“Anxiety often comes from either dwelling on the past or worrying about the future and mindfulness teaches how to live more in the present.

“We learn to pause before action so we can respond and be less reactive and we learn to notice every aspect of our lives: the big, small, pleasant, unpleasant and dull moments and be aware of them all, without being overwhelmed by them.

“Durham and Darlington have been pioneering in recognising the effectiveness of mindfulness and I hope it won’t be too long before the rest of the region follows their lead.”

Along with GP referrals, Living Mindfully runs regular introductory days, retreats and workshops for individuals, groups and organisations.

For more information about Living Mindfully, its courses and referral requirements, call 01207 693909 or visit its website at

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