Led by Professor Mark Williams, the Oxford Mindfulness Center—part of the University of Oxford—has launched a £500,000 crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for research combatting mental illness, in particular depression and anxiety. The area they want to explore is Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) has recently been regarded as one the newest areas for the treatment of mental illness. Recent studies have show how MBCT is an effective as anti-depressant drugs for patients at high risk of depression.
Oxford’s new trial (completed November 2013), in collaboration with Bangor University, is the largest study of MBCT to date. It showed that in addition to demonstrating the effectiveness of MBCT in reducing the likelihood of relapse by between 40-50% in people who have suffered 3 or more previous episodes of depression, in the most severe cases of depression the reduction in relapse rates was even higher. For these most vulnerable people, MBCT reduced the chance of relapse by 57% compared to continuing with their usual care.
Commenting on the findings, Mark Williams, director of the Oxford Mindfulness Center, said:
“This is an exciting development that will give hope to millions who are faced with a condition that, until now, has been a life sentence with relapses that can be managed, but rarely prevented. We are delighted to be at the forefront of showing that MBCT can reduce this risk especially for those who are worst affected. It is another important step in accomplishing our vision of a world without the devastating effects of depression. The next step is crucial: to share and progress that knowledge so more people can be helped. Millions are suffering needlessly because we can’t share our expertise fast enough to provide the world with a means of addressing this terrible illness.”