Mindfulness gives kids in isolated communities the tools they need
Kids, parents and wider communities to benefit.
November 27, 2017 – Building new communities is what Frasers Property Australia specialises in, but a healthy community is more than just bricks and mortar.
Frasers Property is supporting the long-term health and wellbeing of the communities it creates through a $700,000 charitable partnership with Smiling Mind.
Smiling Mind is a not-for-profit that aims to enhance mental health and wellbeing by bringing the benefits of mindfulness meditation to everyone through its unique app-based programs. Smiling Mind’s school based programs are designed to take a pre-emptive approach to building healthy minds from a young age.
Some of the benefits of mindfulness include being able to better manage stress and anxiety, improved concentration and productivity, better sleep and enhanced awareness and creativity.
Frasers Property has become a signature partner and the first-ever national community partner of Smiling Mind, a relationship which will now ensure even more school children, teachers, parents and other community members in Australia will have to access their formal, face-to-face training programs.
“This new relationship between Frasers Property and Smiling Mind means that 90 schools over the next three years will directly benefit by being able to access the mindfulness training programs for free,” says Dr Addie Wootten, Chief Executive Officer, Smiling Mind.
“As well as a schools program, the arrangement includes up to 90 workshops freely provided by Smiling Mind over three years for parents and the wider community to learn more about the benefits,” she says.
Funding programs like Smiling Mind is a real commitment on behalf of Frasers Property to the long-term health and wellbeing of the new communities the company creates in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.
Mr Rod Fehring, Chief Executive Officer, Frasers Property Australia says Frasers Property not only looks at the physical environment people want to live in but all the other factors such as lifestyle, physical and mental health that contribute to overall wellbeing.
“Our charitable partnership with Smiling Mind is a great opportunity for Frasers Property to make a contribution to creating healthy communities in Australia and it supports our goal of creating communities where people feel truly connected,” says Mr Fehring.
“While communities have changed dramatically in the past 30 years, the importance of a sense of belonging and connection remain key to sustaining a sense of wellbeing.
“Smiling Mind’s school-based program supports the mental health of the communities in which it works, and kids really love it, so we’re delighted to come on board,” adds Mr Fehring.
Smiling Mind, co-developed by psychologists, is making significant inroads in its mission to bring accessible life-long mindfulness meditation tools to all. The free Smiling Mind app has already attracted over two million downloads, and more than 32,000 teachers and school counsellors subscribe to the app, bringing mindfulness into the classroom.
“Through this partnership with Frasers Property, we are hoping to expand our reach even further to help schools support student, teacher and parent wellbeing in a proactive way,” says Dr Addie Wootten.
“Over three years we aim to train 1,800 teachers in mindfulness and preventative mental health approaches, which will give 45,000 students the tools they need to take proper care of their mental health now and into the future.
“With one in four secondary students and one in seven primary students suffering from a diagnosed mental illness each year, it’s vital that we, as a community, do everything we can to treat this health issue,” says Dr Wootten.
Frasers Property’s donation of $700,000 over three years will enable Smiling Mind to offer the Smiling Mind training program to teachers of 30 schools each year for the next three years. In addition, the program provides each school with 12 months ongoing support via online resources, plus training for parents and the wider community on the benefits of the program and how to get involved.
“We have deliberately kept our programs simple and easy to use for everyone, which is why they are so popular. We believe that a regular mindfulness practice, even just 10 minutes each day, will help maintain strong mental health. We want to see every mind thrive,” says Dr Wootten.