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June 3, 2024

Read our press release for Naomi's children's meditations

SAN FRANCISCO, March 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Modern Health, a leading global workplace mental health platform, announced the release of a series of children's meditations today, developed in partnership with its Chief Community Health Advocate and tennis superstar Naomi Osaka. This comes at a time when we are facing an unprecedented youth mental health crisis, with rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts among our younger generations on the rise.

Recent research has shown alarming and widespread increases in the prevalence of mental health challenges in young people -  according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 44% of high school students reported they persistently felt sad or hopeless, and more than half of parents and caregivers are concerned about their children's mental well-being. Lesbian, gay, transgender, and bisexual youth and female youth reported even greater levels of poor mental health, with nearly 1 in 3 high school girls saying they had considered suicide, a 60% rise in the past decade. Death by suicide rates among children 10 and older have climbed significantly since 2007, now the second-leading cause of death among 10 to 14-year-olds in the U.S.

"As we work together to address the youth mental health crisis,  we're also confronted with the reality that mental health services are under extreme strain with a chronic shortage of mental health providers who specialize in working with youth and a rising demand for support," comments Dr. Sharon Adusei, Clinical Strategy Lead of Outcomes & Quality at Modern Health and licensed child clinical psychologist. "Children are telling us that they're struggling, and not only do we need to focus on quality interventions, we also need to focus on prevention efforts that help youth build skills to manage ongoing stress at home, school, and around the world. By providing this free and publicly available series of children's meditations, we hope to not only help children navigate their current mental health challenges but also support their development of positive mental health habits for the rest of their lives."

Modern Health's clinical team worked closely with Osaka to create meditations specifically for children to offer tools and sustainable solutions at an early age to mitigate anxiety and self-defeating thoughts. The meditations, which are narrated by Naomi Osaka,  are personalized for children ages five to seven, eight to eleven, and nine and older, covering important topics like how to conquer overwhelming feelings that lead to outbursts, applying skills like self-compassion, and grounding exercises to help strong emotions settle. The release of these meditations comes on the heels of Osaka recently announcing her pregnancy and also the release of her first children's book, The Way Champs Play.

"I think that we've seen progress in reducing the stigma around mental health, and addressing mental health challenges has become much more normalized. I'm glad that we as a society are making strides in the right direction so that the next generation does not have to face the same struggles that we did," comments Naomi Osaka, tennis superstar. "Since becoming pregnant, I feel a sense of responsibility to be the best version of myself for my son or daughter.  I'm already a mom to my dog, Butta, but now that I will be a mother to an actual human, I do feel more of a sense of responsibility to help make the world a better place for my kid. I'm excited for my child and all children to have access to meditations that are catered toward them. I wish I had access to resources like this as a kid, so I'm glad that I'm able to help make something like this accessible to kids all over."

Osaka adds, "I want children to know that it's okay to prioritize their mental health. For me, asking for help when I was younger was scary, so I really want kids to know that it's okay to ask for help when they're struggling with mental health."

Modern Health offers a robust suite of resources to support families, including licensed therapists and certified coaches who are specifically trained in working with members on parenting or caregiving-related concerns, digital programs for parents, children, and teens, as well as Circles for parents and caregivers. Modern Health is witnessing first hand an increasing desire in customers opting to support not only their employees but also their dependents, with an over 60% growth in customers choosing to support dependents compared to the previous year. Modern Health has also released its third new podcast series titled the Journey of Parenting, packed with actionable tips aimed directly at parents and caregivers, covering topics such as parent self-care, addressing challenging behaviors, understanding child anxiety, and boosting self-control skills in kids. Additionally, Modern Health has planned the release of over a dozen new digital programs and resources for kids and teens, and is also launching a new Circle on Preventing and Managing Tantrums in kids, creating space for parents and caregivers to collectively share and learn.

"Imagine being in a classroom where one in every five kids either currently are or will experience a mental or behavioral health challenge in their lifetime, thus impacting their ability to engage, learn, and thrive. Right now, that is almost every classroom in the United States. This is not an issue we can whisper about or ignore; it's at our front door and in family households. The significant number and types of stressors that youth today are confronted with are deeply concerning, and it's hardly surprising that this is affecting our youth.  We must step up to support them and listen more intently to their needs - for the sake of their futures, and ultimately ours," adds Dr. Sharon Adusei.

Please access these free and publicly available children's meditations here.