Canadian Justice Dept. Wants Stress Relief—Fast

The Canadian federal Justice Department is looking for stress-reduction treatment for its employees. And it can't come quickly enough.

Senior officials have ordered two nine-week programs, in French and English, that "will help individuals to deal more effectively with difficult thought and emotions that can leave you feeling stuck in everyday life." The program will stress mindfulness, which the department describes as "the practice of paying attention to the present moment, with acceptance and compassion."

The official tender posted this week calls for a series of sessions this spring for up to 40 people, with the Justice Department supplying refreshments and venues. The posting warns suppliers that "time is of the essence with this contract." The Justice Department has authored 46 crime bills since the Conservatives came to power in 2006.

Total cost for the mindfulness-based stress reduction contract is set at more than $23,000—plus other costs —with the possibility of additional sessions for more money.

A spokeswoman said the department ran pilot programs in mindfulness for staff last fall, and found them effective.

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MacLeans

03/16/11

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