Learning how to have better mental health.
With 12 million downloads to date, Calm is one of the world’s leading apps to make you feel, well, calm.
For five years stressed out folk have turned to it to help them practise mindfulness and meditation – with guided sessions, breathing exercises and bedtime sleep stories now at its core.
Now though, British c0-founders Michael Acton Smith OBE and Alex Tew are targeting a new group of users whose hectic lives and academic pressures often push them to the brink.
He’s launching a so-called ‘Calm College’ to help students learn how to improve their mental health.
The new Calm College programme will give students, faculty, and staff free access to the Calm app, as well a new ‘College Collection’ of exercises that teach skills like how to meditate to manage test anxiety and stay focused in class.
Launching first this month in seven US schools (Harvard, Princeton, Northwestern, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, University of Pennsylvania, NYU) it will soon expand with partner schools across the country and beyond (a further 100 colleges are already in the process of signing up).
Importantly, even those who do not attend a partner school can benefit from the new tools, with mental health organisation Active Minds and The JED Foundation supporting Calm to give any student access the app at discounted rates.
“As someone who personally used meditation to cope with stress in college, I’m particularly excited to enable a new generation of college students with the power to find calm during a difficult life period through mindfulness,” says Tew of the new programme.
Today in the US, half of America’s first-year university students rate their own mental health as poor – yet the average student to counselling staff ratio is 1600:1.
This lack of support makes having poor mental health at university even more devastating.
It’s vital for everyone to learn how to manage stress, so they can avoid and manage associated conditions like anxiety and depression as best as possible.
Educating students while they’re young could lead to a calmer future for all.