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Healing traumatic stress - the silent epidemic among the young: David Lynch Foundation

David Lynch Foundation - USA    Translate This Article
27 December 2010

The David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace has implemented practical, highly effective programmes to alleviate the epidemic of traumatic stress afflicting students in schools throughout North America and the world.

Traumatic stress: The silent epidemic among the young

Traumatic stress is a reality among millions of students who grow up in a climate of fear, bullying, violence, and substance abuse—stress which impedes academic achievement and undermines physical and mental health.
∙ Ten million students take antidepressant medication.
∙ Four million children suffer from ADHD and other learning disorders.
∙ Suicide is the third-leading cause of death among teenagers.
∙ Seventy percent of students with mental health problems are not getting the help they need.

Approach of the David Lynch Foundation: The Quiet Time Program

Learning readiness is at the core of any comprehensive program for raising student performance. By developing the full brain, reducing the acute stresses that undermine learning and health, and improving the overall environment of the schools, the Quiet Time Program is a practical, highly effective approach to promoting learning readiness among students and thereby markedly improving their academic performance and success in life.

The Quiet Time Program with the Transcendental Meditation technique has already been incorporated into hundreds of public, charter, and private schools throughout the United States and around the world, supported by an extensive body of independent research verifying its benefits. Students participating in Quiet Time score higher on intelligence tests, close the achievement gap, improve test scores, and have higher graduation rates compared to students in control groups. Meditating students also show reduced stress levels, anxiety, depression, violence, and substance abuse. This results in reduced absenteeism, dropout rates, suspensions, and expulsions.

Transcendental Meditation is a simple, easily learned technique, practiced by students and teachers for 10 to 20 minutes twice daily, sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. The technique does not involve any religion, philosophy, or change in lifestyle.

Extensive scientific research has documented the beneficial effects of the Transcendental Meditation in education. A few highlights:
Improved Academic Achievement. Academic achievement and Transcendental Meditation: A study with at-risk urban middle school students, Education (in press).
Decreased Psychological Distress. Reduced psychological distress in racial and ethnic minority students practicing the Transcendental Meditation program. Journal of Instructional Psychology (in press).
Reduced Blood Pressure. Impact of Transcendental Meditation on ambulatory blood pressure in African American adolescents. American Journal of Hypertension, 2004: 17, 366-369.
Decreased Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Use of the Transcendental Meditation technique to reduce symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) by reducing stress and anxiety: An exploratory study. Current Issues in Education, 2008: 10, 1-15.
Improved Coping Ability and Decreased Psychological Distress. A randomized controlled trial on effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on blood pressure, psychological distress, and coping in young adults. American Journal of Hypertension, 2009: 22, 1326-1331.
Improved Brain Integration. Effects of Transcendental Meditation practice on brain functioning and stress reactivity in college students. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 2009: 71(2): 170-6.
Decreased Absenteeism, Suspensions, and Rule Infractions. Impact of stress reduction on negative school behavior in adolescents. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 2009:1, 1-10

A number of short videos about the Quiet Time Program and Transcendental Meditation in education are featured on the Schools page of the David Lynch Foundation website:
∙ Overcoming stress for learning readiness
At a glance: TM for students
At a glance: TM for school principals
∙ California middle school uses Quiet Time to boost test scores
∙ Connecticut high school students praise TM
∙ Arizona students and teachers see big changes
∙ Quiet Time at a DC public school
∙ Trinity College women's squash team wins big with meditation
∙ PBS showcases benefits of TM on ADHD
∙ Students overcome ADHD with the TM technique
∙ Public school administrators praise TM

For more about current initiatives of the David Lynch Foundation in education, including how to implement a program, click here.

Future Global Good News articles will feature more about the work of the David Lynch Foundation with the military, homeless shelters, American Indians, and prisons, as well as global outreach programs to help at-risk children in violence-ridden regions of the world.

© Copyright 2010 David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace

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