After offering free mental health exercises at the beginning of the pandemic, Headspace has announced that it's opening up its service for free to a particularly vulnerable group for mental stressors: teens. The company's new Headspace for Teens initiative is fairly straightforward: Kids between 13 and 18 will be able to access a selection of exercises — including things to help you reduce stress, focus on being mindful and sleep better — at no charge. The only requirement is that they sign up to be members of the youth-focused non-profits Bring Change to Mind or Peer Health Exchange. Headspace says it also plans to extend the free offering throughout the world as it partners with more non-profits.
“Through our research, we see that teens today are under a great deal of stress and experience high levels of anxiety due to the demands of school, their jobs, extracurriculars, social life, and a general uncertainty about their futures,” Alice Nathoo, Head of Social Impact at Headspace, said in a statement. “Even though many teens have an awareness of and vocabulary for mental health issues, this doesn't always translate to action."
Headspace for Teens follows a similar program focused on bringing mental health support to educators. To reach a more general audience, the company also created three shows for Netflix, including an interactive entry similar to Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.
Given just how anxiety-inducing the world can be these days, it makes sense for Headspace to give people a taste of the benefits from meditation, de-stressing and solid sleep habits. It's no replacement for a therapist — as we've explored in our guide to finding at-home mental health support during the pandemic — but Headspace's offerings still have the potential to help many people.