Paras Wellbeing are always looking to collaborate with individuals and organisations who are looking to conduct research or evaluations. With experience in mixed methods research, Paras Wellbeing can provide you with a gold standard, industry recognised assessment to help you understand workplace cultures, workplace wellbeing or the impact of your interventions.
With experience of working with a variety of local, national and international organisations, Paras Wellbeing have catered their bespoke approach to capture and fulfil requirements.
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DID YOU KNOW
-11.7 million working days were lost to stress, depression or anxiety.
- Around 15 per cent of people at work have symptoms of an existing mental health condition.
- ONE in four blue light service personnel has thought about committing suicide.
In March 2015, Mind launched the Blue Light Programme with the knowledge that 9 out of 10 emergency service staff and volunteers in England had experienced stress, low mood or poor mental health at some point in their career. Further to that, research completed by Mind showed the need for specialist and independent support with mental health in the sector was huge. The programme was supported by £4 million LIBOR funding, administered by the Cabinet Office. This programme focused on five areas in the first year:
• Tackling stigma and discrimination
• Embedding workplace wellbeing
• Increasing resilience
• Providing targeted advice and support
• Improving pathways to services and support.
In collaboration with Tyneside and Northumberland Mind, training was delivered whilst a holistic evaluation on the impact to staff across the services was completed alongside. This was done in three different phases (I) Recruiting Blue Light Champions, (II) Providing these champions with training and core skills in recognising poor mental health, and (III) facilitating champions to provide sessions and support in their individual services.
The benefits of mindfulness are well established and have extensively been researched. In collaboration with Mind, 15 champions were trained in a 2-day ‘Train the Trainer’ mindfulness course, led by Jens Hyldahl, a mindfulness practitioner, who works with conflict management and prevention of violence in workplaces. It has helped prevent violence in an organisational perspective with the focal point of dealing with anger / aggression in relation to citizens and patients as well as betrayal in staff groups.
The champions where equipped with the knowledge and tools to offer introductory mindfulness sessions to colleagues within their individual services. Not only did this increase awareness of mental health but it also allowed a time and space for individuals to practice mindfulness on a weekly basis.
Significant results were identified with increases evidenced in parasympathetic activation. Further details can be made available on request.
X-System and Noizechoir
Noizechoir is a unique choir whose primary focus is exploring ‘extended’ or ‘non standard’ vocal techniques. It is not concerned with traditional musical forms and tonality, preferring to sculpt compositions out of what can be loosely called vocal noise. The techniques favoured by Noizechoir are to mimic and/or to explore a range of real and imaginary sounds that can be used to phenomenologically explore composition subjects. An additional part of their musical practice is to create graphic scores and use them to record the order tempo and shape of the performance. In this study, Noizechoir employed one of their warm-up techniques to provide an easy ‘way-in’ for singing atonally. Participants were asked to block their ears and sing the pitch that they naturally begin a well-known song (like for instance, Happy Birthday) they at the end of each breath they were required to change the pitch in a small increment (½ tone to 2 tones). They were encouraged to find a pitch away from that of others to create a discordant sound. This was aimed at removing the anxiety of singing in the correct pitch. The second exercise took the form of a simple score with a narrative, that of a ‘walk along the Lindisfarne coast’. Participants were asked to make sounds that represented or mimicking the sound of wailing seals, waves, wind, seagulls, fishing boat motors and foghorns. All easily recognisable and repeatable sounds that could be added together to form a narrative based soundscape.
A recent study completed between the research team at Northumbria University, Newcastle and University of Cape Town, South Africa explored the psychophysiological (psychological and physiological) effects of participating in this particular choir.
Future Noizechoir research projects will include: Evaluation of the effect of specific Noizechoir practices;
Development and evaluation of a hybrid interventions with sound and movement;
Control studies with larger samples in a different context: healthy, ageing, wellbeing in the workplace etc., and hybrid interventions
Whether there is an appreciable benefit in the field of stroke recovery
Whether there is an appreciable benefit in the field of speech therapy
Forrest Yoga is renowned as an intensely physical and internally-focused practice that emphasises how to carry a transformative experience off the mat and into daily life. The practice challenges students to access their whole being and to use Forrest Yoga as a path to finding and then cleansing the emotional and mental blocks that dictate and limit their lives. Students cultivate an acute awareness of their own practice and life process, creating a unique and powerful opportunity for them to make practical life decisions based on their own experiences.
Engaging and collaborated with Forrest yoga and Jambo yoga to conduct a rigorous scientific research on the psycho-physiological impact of Forrest Yoga. The study involved using a complexity approach in completing a holistic wellbeing assessment on individuals that included mental, physical and relational domains of wellbeing. The integrative framework allowed for the understanding of the psychological and physiological changes that the participants experienced over a 27-day yoga course.
The main findings include:
Forrest Yoga had significant positive physiological effects, more specifically functioning of the autonomic nervous system, by being associated with up-regulating markers of parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) activity;
Forrest Yoga had significant positive psychological effects on participants and improved their overall wellbeing;
The baseline and delta correlations showed that the physiological HRV measures correlated significantly with mental awareness & relational wellbeing.