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In the midst of a global mental health crisis, millions of people have turned to mindfulness. But does it actually make us happier and healthier? In a world-first experiment, journalist Shannon Harvey recruited a team of scientists to put mindful meditation to the test. But what began as a year-long self-experiment soon became a life-changing experience.
My Year of Living Mindfully (2020) is a feature documentary directed by Shannon Harvey and Julian Harvey. The film was awarded Best Film at SCINEMA, the largest science film festival in the southern hemisphere, and Cinequest's Thrive award for being the festival's 'most inspiring and life-affirming film'.
Running Time: 98 mins
My Year of Living Mindfully is suitable for secondary students in Years 9–12 studying in the following areas:
- Science: the film relates to biology, scientific inquiry, data collection and the scientific method.
- Health: the film explores mental health and wellbeing, mindfulness, chronic illness, trauma recovery and evidence-based health interventions.
- Media: the film uncovers the journalistic process and issues caused by the misrepresentation of mindfulness.
- Geography: the film includes an inquiry into the viability of mindfulness as a low-cost, scalable mental health intervention for refugees and people recovering from trauma.
The film is also relevant to learning in the Australian Curriculum General Capability of 'Personal and Social Capability'.
Free Discussion Guide:
My Year of Living Mindfully comes with a Discussion Guide to help facilitate dialogue and deepen understanding of the issues surrounding mental health and the science of mindfulness, which are explored in the film. Download the Discussion Guide for free.
Q&A with the Director:
To watch a free Q&A between health journalist and director Shannon Harvey in conversation with Willem Kuyken, PhD, DClinPsy, Professor of Mindfulness and Psychological Science, Oxford University and Director of the University of Oxford Mindfulness Centre, check out the ATOM YouTube channel.
The Q&A was recorded during lockdown in 2020 and moderated by Claire Kelly, a mindfulness teacher and Director of Curricula and Training of UK charity, the Mindfulness in Schools Project.