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Building mindful courts can promote well-being, reduce stress

Building mindful courts can promote well-being, reduce stress

May 31, 2023 -- While courts are making strides to effectively respond to the needs of court-involved individuals with serious mental illness, it’s also important to focus on the well-being of judges and staff.

Mindfulness can help.

“Building a mindfulness capacity is one strategy many in the public and private sectors are embracing to build thoughtful, creative, and resilient workforces ready to respond to ongoing demands,” said Pam Casey, project director and NCSC Vice President for Research. “Mindfulness involves paying attention in an open and curious way to the experiences of the present moment.”

Last year, NCSC offered an eight-week mindfulness education program to help promote well-being and resilience for judges, court professionals, and others who work with courts. Participants were given access to a free, app-based mindfulness program and invited to 30-minute weekly webinars with a mindfulness instructor.

The study, which was funded by the State Justice Institute, found that a hybrid mobile app/webinar program can be an effective way to deliver training to a broader court community but warrants additional research.

“It is rare that people understand how much adversity this profession faces on a daily basis,” according to one participant. “Being mindful of our interactions and displaying kindness to all people who we interact with can change the profession and the court experience for the better.”

For those who missed out on last year’s offering, visit Mindful Courts to find the summary report, webinar recordings and mindfulness FAQs .

Here are just a few tips to help you get started:

  • Mindfulness is simple but not easy. It takes practice, and support can be helpful.
  • Intention and a kind and curious attitude are important.
  • Regular practice, even a few minutes a day, is beneficial.

If your court has incorporated mindfulness or other well-being activities into education programs, we want to hear from you. Share your court’s activities with Pam Casey at

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