According to the World Health Organization (WHO), disabilities is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions (taking into account the interaction of personal characteristics with the environment that surrounds the person).
Moreover, the WHO distinguishes, among others, the Intellectual Disability as a significantly reduced ability to understand new or complex information and to learn and apply new skills, which results in a reduced ability to cope independently.
Nowadays, treatments include different types of interventions (medical, psychological, educational, etc.), which are supported by various scientific studies in order to improve a positive mental health framework.
Therefore, Intellectual Disability presents a series of clinical manifestations that have a psychological, emotional, social and functional impact, which will affect the performance and quality of the daily life: from the difficulty of adapting to changes to the general social relations.
According to this, it becomes more and more important to carry out innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to respond to all needs that people with Intellectual Disability may present.
Within the past few decades, there has been a surge of interest in the investigation of Mindfulness as a psychological construct and a form of clinical intervention.
According to Shian-LingKenga et al. (2011), Mindfulness brings about various positive psychological effects, including increased subjective well-being, reduced psychological symptoms and emotional reactivity, improving behavioral regulation.
Likewise, Mindfulness can bring different benefits to people whit Intellectual Disability, from the reduction of symptoms to the development of applicable skills, which can give them the access to a different perspective, enhancing resilience and capacity to tolerate distress.
This is particularly true with reference to the study conducted by Collazo Riobo et al. (2017). In this pioneering study, data were collected on the social skills of the users and the facets of Mindfulness, through the EHS and FFMQ scales (respectively). The intervention was carried out with the Mindfulness technique in 8 sessions of 45 minutes and a sample of 12 users, with an average age of 40 years. The results showed statistically significant improvements in self-expression, in social situations and in the beginning of positive interactions with the opposite sex.
It becomes evident that Mindfulness is a technique with an extraordinary therapeutic potential, benefits of which have been proven applied with different collectives, with and without disadvantages. Therefore, it is worthwhile to look into the benefits of Mindfulness in its different fields of application: from tackling day-to-day stress, through combating post-traumatic stress disorder to improving the wellbeing of persons with intellectual disabilities or mental health issues. In fact, given its’ huge potential of applicability, the number of target groups it is applied with is likely to keep increasing.