Organisers want more than 1000 people to bring the Great Court to life on July 23 2019 as The University of Queensland attempts a Guinness World Records® title for the Largest Mindfulness Lesson – Single Venue.
The attempt will bring staff, students, alumni and the wider community together to break the current record of 569 participants, held by Mexican school PrepaTec Guadalajara.
The event supports the University’s Mental Health Strategy (2018 – 2020), which aims to promote community activities that encourage participation, inclusiveness and a sense of connection and belonging at UQ.
Chair of the UQ Mental Health Project Board Professor Stuart Carney said the record attempt was an innovative opportunity to shine light on mindfulness as a tool to support mental health.
“The event is a great way to help break down the stigma around mental illness and encourage healthy discussions about managing symptoms, the types of support services available and where to find help,” Professor Carney said.
The lesson will be led by Dr Russ Harris who will teach mindfulness techniques commonly used to manage issues such as depression, anxiety and stress.
Dr Harris is the author of the international best-selling self-help book The Happiness Trap, and is known for his three pronged approach to mindfulness: simplicity, clarity and having fun.
UQ Union Vice-President Isabella Scattini said she was pleased the university was making mental health a focus of its approach to student affairs.
“UQ students are facing growing pressures while studying, with the rising cost of living, the lack of part-time employment opportunities and an increasingly tense social and political environment,” she said.
“They face these issues on top of university-related stress such as exams and assignments, as well as the hardship of being away from home and not having important connections around them.
“Mental illness, particularly among students, is undeniably on the rise, and UQ Union supports the University’s move to make it a core element of its approach to student health and welfare.”
Professor Carney said it was important to ensure the entire UQ community felt supported, and knew where to turn in times of trouble.
“This really is a rare opportunity to get involved with a well-known institution such as Guinness World Records, while supporting mental health awareness,” he said.
“We hope the community can spare an hour out of their day to get behind the event.”
Allianz, Headspace Taringa, UQ Sport, UQ Union, UQ Wellness and the UQ Mental Health Champions team will be at the event to ensure support services are available.
To celebrate our community gathering, all participants will be invited to a free lunch and optional mini colour run at the end of the event.
If you are interested in taking part in the Guinness World Records® attempt, you can register via the campaign website.