FARMINGTON — Franklin Memorial Hospital will offer an intensive nine-session stress reduction program beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3. The program is designed to teach participants scientifically-proven practical skills to reduce stress and improve overall health and happiness. This fall’s program instructor is Dr. Kathleen Hickey.

“The course is designed for adults, and the skills gained will help participants apply mindfulness practice to the many life stressors in everyday life,” said Hickey. “Mindfulness means being completely in touch with the present moment in a non-judgmental fashion. Several formal mindfulness practices will be taught including very basic yoga; however, no prior experience with yoga is necessary to take the class.”

The course consists of eight consecutive two-and-a-half-to-three-hour sessions and includes an all-day retreat on Saturday, Oct. 24. Participants should be committed to performing one hour of daily practice and homework to learn and practice mindfulness meditation, Hatha yoga and body scan.

Anyone interested in the program is asked to pre-register and complete the pre-screening form available from the FMH education department by calling 207-779-2381.

A mandatory orientation session will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3, in the hospital’s Bass Room. After attending the orientation, participants can decide if they would like to move forward with the complete course. Payment will be due at that time for those who wish to continue.

The cost of the program is based on a sliding scale fee according to household income. Scholarships are available to help defray costs. FMI: 207-779-2381.