Weʼre raising £24,000 to create an in-cell audio course for prisoners to learn iRest (Integrative Restoration) meditation & support 12-step work for rehabilitation.
- High Wycombe, UK
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I have taught yoga and meditation in prison for about 7 years and have seen how hard it is for people who are incarcerated to begin to change their lives. Most of the prisoners I’ve met have experienced severe trauma at some point in their lives, often during childhood. A very high percentage suffer from mental health problems and are caught in the cycle of addiction to drugs and alcohol.
Even when they want to change — to get off drugs or find help to deal with past trauma or conditioning — support is limited or not available at all. Treatments, programmes and even information that we can easily get on the outside are completely inaccessible to prisoners. CDs or MP3 recordings, for example, with advice on meditation or dealing with addiction, are rarely allowed in cells due to safety regulations.
My vision is to create an in-cell audio course specifically for prisoners, supported by a workbook, which teach the 10 steps of iRest (Integrative Restoration) meditation. iRest is an evidence-based, mindfulness practice approved by the US military for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other conditions. iRest is easy to learn and can be practiced anywhere, and I’ve found it to be appropriate for the prison environment and highly acceptable to prison populations. iRest is currently used in over 70 veterans facilities in the US, as well as homeless shelters, hospitals, hospices, schools and other settings, and it’s backed up by more than 30 clinical trials showing that it works.I have taught iRest to groups of prisoners at HMP Lewes and have already published the workbook. I want to make this available to many more prisoners in their own cells.
iRest helps bring about change, increasing empathy, cultivating calmness and self-awareness, and providing a sense of inner safety. It would give prisoners tools to manage — rather than just reacting to — difficult thoughts and feelings. This will benefit the people who use the course as well as the prison staff, other inmates, and the families of people in prison. iRest meditation is something people can take with them when they leave prison, to help them integrate into society.
For more information please check our website www.thriveinside.org
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About the fundraiser
High Wycombe, UK
I have been in Recovery since January 2000. Meditation has been deeply healing for me. I have practiced daily for 16 years and without it I don't know how I would have survived. I want to share it with those that are not heard by much of society.
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