Smiling Mind is a mindfulness meditation website and app for young people. Learn more about the website, and get information on when it is appropriate to use it, find out what young people thought of it, and read professional advice and young people’s tips for using it in practice.
This tool will assist with:
- helping young people manage stress and build resilience
- introducing meditation and mindfulness techniques to reduce mental health risks now and in the future
- managing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
About Smiling Mind
Smiling Mind is a mindfulness meditation website and app, developed by an Australian non-profit with support from ReachOut.com. It is "modern meditation for young people" featuring guided meditations with the objective of managing stress, increasing resilience and assisting in reducing mental health risks in later life.
Different sets of meditations are targeted at different age demographics, including:
- 7-11 yrs
- 12-15 yrs
- 16-22 yrs
Where to access this tool
When to use Smiling Mind
This tool should be introduced to young people presenting difficulties with stress, anxiety and depression as part of a cognitive behavioural framework. It can assist clients to recognise unhelpful thoughts and create processes to cognitively distance from them.
What young people thought of Smiling Mind
- Interface is engaging, colourful but not too bright, and navigation easy to follow.
- Teaches the basics with concise information.
- Sessions are appropriate length, follow a logical progression and build in intensity.
- Personalised – users can move at their own pace, rate how they are feeling before/after session and receive notifications/reminders to keep on track.
- No option to continue with more advanced sessions.
- Voices used are not youthful but older and generally male.
- Guides on how to further knowledge through available courses not provided.
Professionals’ advice on using Smiling Mind in practice
This tool is very adolescent friendly and should be introduced in session by listening to an example recording together.
Refer the client to the research behind mindfulness featured on the website before they start.
If the client doesn’t have access to a computer, email account or iPhone, incorporate the exercises into your session, making sure appropriate tools such as headphones are available.
Advice from young people
Health professionals should provide supplementary information about the many forms of meditation besides mindfulness to clients.
It might be beneficial for a young person to do a session with a meditation specialist who may offer suggestions on improving technique.
Make sure to follow up on progression.
This tool was reviewed by Chelsea and Jordan, young people from ReachOut.com. Professional advice was provided by Simon DuBois (Psychologist).
Using this tool
- Recommend it for any young person who could benefit from work on wellbeing.
- Get them to trial at least one meditation in your session.
- Check back in with them on how they feel after using it, reinforcing positive outcomes.