Sir Ashley Bloomfield has joined with Southern Cross to promote good mental health and wellbeing for tamariki.

Tuesday, May 30th 2023, 11:20AM

Bloomfield is in a new partnership with the Southern Cross group, to help young New Zealanders thrive through promotion of the Pause Breathe Smile mindfulness programme.

Southern Cross fully funds the programme to ensure it is available free to all kura kaupapa, primary and intermediate schools in New Zealand.

Pause Breathe Smile is proven to improve behaviour and attitudes in children with benefits to their families and teachers.

Bloomfield says he is often asked how he coped with the pressure when he was the public face of the Covid 19 response and he is happy to answer as an example to others on how they can set themselves up for success in dealing with stressful situations.

“Over the years I’ve learned the absolute importance of looking after my physical and mental wellbeing if I want to be at my best each day. I’ve always found physical activity and regular downtime really important in helping me maintain resilience – and this was especially so during the pandemic.

“I’ve seen first-hand the value of simple but highly effective mindfulness techniques in helping to face both chunky and everyday challenges. Things like mindful breathing and movement, expressing gratitude, and understanding how we can better react to stressful situations really help when things get tough. I’ve started to use mindfulness personally on an everyday basis and I see it as an essential skill for life,” he says.

Bloomfield has studied and worked in public health for most of his career and understands how programmes like Pause Breathe Smile can help individuals and communities.

“I’m very excited about supporting Pause Breathe Smile as a way to help our children be more resilient, positive, and ready to face challenging situations in their own lives.”

Southern Cross Healthcare chief executive Chris White says a recent survey by Mindquip investigating Pause Breathe Smile efficacy shows just what a difference the programme is making.

More than 1,000 responses from educators trained in Pause Breathe Smile showed that positive behaviour in the classroom increased by 12.4% and negative behaviour in the classroom reduced by 10.1%.

“We were also excited to see that 12 months on from introducing PBS, general student wellbeing was up 16.6% and that the number of students flourishing increased by 8.1%.”

Tags: Southern Cross

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