Hospital procedures are impacted by Covid-19. Find out more here.

Hospital procedures are impacted by Covid-19. Find out more here.

Growing healthy young minds in Aotearoa

Pause Breathe Smile

Pause Breathe Smile sets tamariki up for a healthy future

Southern Cross Healthcare has fully sponsored and funded Pause Breathe Smile (PBS) since 2020 – enabling the proven mindfulness programme to be available free of charge to any primary or intermediate school in New Zealand. Southern Cross Healthcare is pleased to extend this support through to June 2028, ensuring more tamariki will benefit from learning valuable tools to help cope with life’s ups and downs. This year, Sir Ashley Bloomfield partnered with Pause Breathe Smile as a mind health ambassador to promote awareness of how Pause Breathe Smile helps young people to thrive.

“It’s clear tamariki benefit from the mindfulness skills they learn through Pause Breathe Smile. With my public health hat on, I’m firmly convinced of the wider community benefits.” – Sir Ashley Bloomfield.

Wellbeing Survey

A second tranche of results was released in late 2023 from the research by Dr Reuben Rusk using the New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing and Resilience (NZIWR) School Wellbeing Staff Survey. The results have shown that Pause Breathe Smile continues to have a positive impact in classrooms around Aotearoa where the programme is delivered.

The research shows consistent significant improvements in students’ wellbeing and behaviour with more tamariki flourishing, and fewer who are languishing. The techniques children learn in school are also working for them at home with whānau. Teachers say they benefit from PBS techniques too.

Roll-out of Whaiwāhi Mauri Tau

PBS launched its programme in te reo Māori this year - Whaiwāhi Mauri Tau - which is available to kura and schools. Its development included piloting and implementing the programme in partnership with Te Kura Māori o Porirua with the intention of working within matauranga Māori paradigms.

Whaiwāhi Mauri Tau is not a direct translation of the Pause Breathe Smile programme. Rather it has been adapted in consultation with kaiako Māori and tamariki in Māori immersion settings. The name of the programme means a space and time to be present and allow one’s mauri (life force or essence) to settle.

The launch of Whaiwāhi Mauri Tau will ensure PBS is accessible to all tamariki Māori.

Bilingual student learning journals

Each student participating in Pause Breathe Smile can receive their very own journal to help their learning and capture their reflections – both in the classroom and at home. The student learning journal is now bilingual, featuring more te reo Māori, supporting ākonga to become familiar with te reo Māori wellbeing words and phrases. Kaiako can download the full te reo Māori journal for more advanced speakers.

Pause Breathe Smile launches app

The new app puts the mind health programme’s valuable mindfulness practices at people’s fingertips. It is primarily designed to help teachers implement Pause Breathe Smile lessons more easily in the classroom, but it also features a small selection of meditations that anyone can access.

The mindfulness practices on the app are available in both te reo Māori and English and are suitable for tamariki, teens and adults. The app can be downloaded from your phone’s app store.

Pause Breathe Smile was developed at the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, with specialist input from experts in education, mental health, and mindfulness

Workshop facilitators train teachers to deliver the eight-week programme in their classrooms, ensuring it is embedded within the school. Focus areas include mindful breathing, eating and movement, gratitude, emotional literacy, kindness, and resilience. There is an emphasis on empowerment and equipping children with the skills to manage life’s challenges.

By December 2023, Pause Breathe Smile reached:

  • 125,000+ children aged 5 -12
  • 8,700+ Educators
  • And 440+ New Zealand schools