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Hearts & Minds: NAMI Highlights Meditation, Yoga And Other “Mindfulness” Practices For Mental Illness

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is providing a new dimension to its Hearts & Minds initiative, an educational program that promotes “mind and body” health practices for individuals who live with mental illness.

A new “Mindfulness” section on NAMI’s Hearts and Minds website includes a 10-minute video of guided mediation, along with information about other holistic methods to complement medication and therapy and help a person to gain greater control over the recovery process.

Practices covered include basic meditation, guided imagery, yoga and Tai Chi, and creative outlets such as writing, art, music and dance.

Ed Knight of says he uses meditation to help control hearing voices and panic attacks: “Without the combination of meditation and medication, I would be in and out of the hospital very frequently. I haven’t had a panic attack in several years and I have ceased to hear voices.”

“Medication and therapy are crucial to recovery, but everyone’s experience is different,” said NAMI Executive Director Michael Fitzpatrick. “Hearts and Minds offers a holistic dimension for managing mental illness . Some practices will work for some people, but not for everyone. In the end it comes down to what works for you.”

“Outlets for self-awareness exist in every state and local unity. They can be pursued individually or in groups. Every outlet can make a contribution to recovery,” Fitzpatrick said.

Mental illnesses include major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other diagnoses.