Student education pilot (2014)

    Mindapples training helps students cope with stress, says the University of York

This pilot project funded by Guy’s and St Thomas’s Charity aimed to test whether our workplace training programme could help nursing and social care students at London South Bank University. The project assessed whether our training was effective in teaching people how their minds work, and whether participants found this knowledge helpful for their studies and for maintaining their mental wellbeing and resilience.

The pilot was evaluated by the International Centre for Mental Health Social Research at the University of York. Their published study showed that Mindapples training programmes increased participants’ ability to cope with stress, including three months after the programme was complete.

This was the first controlled trial of Mindapples’ training content, and a great endorsement for our fresh approach to mental health and wellbeing education. The trial showed statistically significant increases in participants’ knowledge of their minds and ability to cope with stress, as well as increases in subjective wellbeing and overwhelmingly positive feedback from the participants.

The trials were conducted with students at London South Bank University and included the period of final examinations and assignments – typically the most stressful point in a student’s career. The content used was exactly the same as we use with our commercial clients, so this trial also showed the strength of our workplace training, and the wide applicability of our approach.


The eight-week training programme covered all the basic elements of wellbeing and resilience, and also more advanced topics like motivation, decision-making and creativity. Unlike most training and therapeutic programmes, the content focussed on learning about your mind and increasing your awareness of the factors affecting it, rather than telling participants what to do and training particular behaviours.

Some of the feedback from participants included:

  • “it sounded like it would help to teach us people skills and personality types we would need to know in the workforce – and it did, it really did actually help”
  • “I understand myself, I can plan ahead if facing challenging situations or stressful situations”
  • “it was interactive as well, asking our opinion, puzzles, mind games that kept you gripped – short and sweet, just enough, fitted in with the day”
  • “[It] helped with both essays, going to the library, having a plan, make use of resources. When I went on placement I sorted it out in time, learnt how to manage time and not be angry with others. I manage my emotions better”
  • “Mindapples helped me to take a step back, relax. That was when I got my highest grades”

We’re very grateful to Dr Martin Webber and Ms Charlotte Scott at the University of York for conducting the trial, Professor Alex Murdock and colleagues at London South Bank University for partnering with us on it, Ollie Smith and Guy’s & St Thomas’s Charity for funding the project, and our own Esther King for co-ordinating things brilliantly on our side.