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Mindfulness courses currently run for patients at St. Rocco's, helping them comes to terms with, and live well with, their illnesses.

How can Mindfulness Help?

Through this programme you will begin to:

  • Cope better with the stresses of illness
  • Experience more inner peace and calm
  • Learn to deal with unhelpful thoughts, and...
  • Adopt a gentler, kinder way of taking care of yourself

This programme aims to help you develop skills to look after your own psychological wellbeing and build resilience. You will start to increase your self-awareness and self-compassion, and reduce unhelpful patterns of worrying. This in in turn helps you to change your relationship to distressing emotions and thoughts, and gives you more choice about how you respond to difficulties in life.

As you learn to relate compassionately to your own experiences, you are able to begin to care more deeply and effectively for yourself and as well as helping you, this can also support the other people in your life.

Our patients find that being more mindful and compassionate particularly to themselves helps them cope better with the stresses of illness. Developing a kinder, more accepting attitude to yourself and your situation can mean you are more able to manage difficult emotions and take charge of your own life again.

What’s involved?

This is a brief introductory group that will run once a week  in a session lasting an hour and half for four consecutive weeks in the Vitality Centre at
St Rocco’s Hospice. You will practice brief meditations and informal practices and explore some of the theory behind the programme. You will be given a CD with the meditations and practices for you to listen to at home, as well as weekly handouts. The more you practice the greater the benefits - it’s like going to the gym; if you just stand looking at the equipment you won’t get any fitter, you actually have to lift some weights and work out on the machines! Similarly in order to get the most out of the programme participants are encouraged to practice at home between 10-20 minutes a day. 

This isn’t a therapy group so there is no pressure to talk, although many participants do find it helpful to meet others living with a life limiting diagnosis and share some of their experiences.

Who runs the programme?

The programme is facilitated by Kate Diggory from the Family Support Team at St Rocco’s Hospice. She is a counsellor and a trained Mindfulness and Mindful Self-Compassion teacher who has facilitated many mindfulness and self-compassion courses here at St Rocco’s.

Who is this programme for?

This four week programme is available to patients. As a first step towards joining the Introduction to Mindfulness & Self-Compassion Programme Kate will contact you for a brief, informal conversation about the group and to explore whether it is right for you at this current time.

How do I get referred?

You can be referred by any of the healthcare professionals already working with you such as GPS, Clinical Nurse Specialists, District Nurses. Alternatively, if you have received a life-limiting diagnosis and you think this programme might be able to help you, just get in touch on 01925 579212 or email vitalitycentre@stroccos.org.uk

When you are referred or refer yourself, we will talk to you about the programme and let you know the starting date of the next programme.

What do our patients think?

Angela started attending St Rocco’s six months after being diagnosed with cancer. She said: “A lot of people refer to themselves or others as dying of cancer, but I say I’m living with cancer, and so much of that has been down to St. Rocco’s.

"The hospice has been like a lifeline to me – it’s been both life changing and life affirming. For me, mindfulness has been better than any drugs. If it wasn’t for these courses I know I’d feel very differently today.”

Carol was initially referred to the Hospice for counselling for her anxiety following her cancer diagnosis.

She said: "I learned the effects that my thoughts were having on me and was taught how to take control of my mind. After all, when you’ve got a life-limiting illness, why would you want to waste your time on debilitating thoughts?

“It’s taught me the importance of self-kindness and putting myself first sometimes, and it’s made a real difference.”