Student Mental Health: Responding to the Crisis
- 08:30 - 16:45
- The Royal National Hotel, London
Bazaar: A Marketplace for the Mind is an innovative and creative digitised therapeutic intervention that takes elements from both cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and mindfulness and explores them in a way that is interactive, fun and engaging. The programme has a very strong evidence basis of significantly reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, panic attacks and/or low mood. It is designed in a way that is creative and charismatic, with intent to inspire and remind individuals about what drives them to live life to the full. Over the past year and a half, Bazaar has been being utilised in a range of universities, third sector organisations and other academic institutes.
By utilising lived experience, the team at Open Door Charity have designed Bazaar so that individuals affected by mental ill-health have access to evidence-based support wherever they are, whenever they like. People sometimes find therapeutic interventions disengaging, especially when they are in a clinical, outdated and sometimes intimidating environment. Instead, Bazaar takes an approach that is far from a clinical, sterile experience and is inspired by art, culture, music and all of the wonderful attributes that make life worth living.
Today, Bazaar has helped thousands of people to live happier lives by disrupting negative thought patterns and constructing positive, resolute thinking strategies. Over eight weekly sessions, the programme addresses present symptoms of anxiety and depression as an individual is guided through building new techniques to thrive in the future. Each week, beneficiaries work towards their own personal aims as each practice adapts to their unique lived experiences. The programme is designed to disrupt negative thought patterns and encourage healthier happier behaviours by helping people in the short term and equipping them with workable skills for life.
The CBT element addresses unhelpful ways of thinking which may be exacerbating problems. At the same time, the focus is on the relationship between thinking patterns, feelings and behaviour. The process is proactive and is concerned with the present as opposed to some other forms of therapy which focus more on the past. Bazaar draws on a number of key theoretical models and instils an important training component so that it is accessible online. On the other hand, the mindfulness component compliments the process as it is intended to help people have a less judgemental approach to their thoughts, getting less tied up in the meaning of them, improving attention focusing ability and being more present rather than spending time concerned with the past or future. The programme is intended to give beneficiaries a good understanding of their mental health wellbeing, what causes negative feelings and how they can address these in a logical way. Both practices combined together with art, music and culture is what makes Bazaar: A Marketplace for the Mind stand out from the rest.