Temple University's Athletics Department announced this week that it plans to offer the Headspace meditation app for free to all student athletes and coaches.
Over 500 student athletes and coaches at Temple will have access to the app as part of a group subscription at the university. Headspace offers many guided tutorials for meditation and mindfulness, and it is available for phone or computer with a focus on meditation on-the-go. It offers over 1,200 hours of content spread over 60 topics, ranging from "One-Minute Meditation" to "Meditation for Walking" to "Sleep by Headspace," which features nature sounds and music to promote relaxation and healthy sleep.
In recent years, student athletes at Penn have called for increased focus on their mental health, including requesting a dedicated Counseling and Psychological Services clinician who would work in a Penn Athletics building. The Penn Athletics Department has webpages dedicated to mental performance and mental wellness, but the stated missions and values on both pages are "TBA."
The Headspace website cites research indicating that four weeks of using the app can increase focus by 14%, 30 days of use can lower stress by 32%, and just four sessions can reduce burnout by 14%. The website also references benefits to team function that are more specific for athletes, adding that 3 weeks using the app leads to 21% more compassionate behavior and cuts aggression by 57%.
"We are constantly exploring ways to help our student-athletes improve their overall mental health and well-being," Stephany Coakley, Temple's Senior Associate Athletics Director for Mental Health, said in a press release. "The Headspace App has helped countless people since its launch, and it will provide our student-athletes with an easily accessible resource that they can use throughout their day, when they experience stress, anxiety, decreased motivation, lack of focus, and other symptoms that affect mental health."
Headspace reports over 40 million users worldwide and offers individual as well as team-based subscriptions.
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