Clever invention helps children to manage their mental wellbeing from home

This week, from February 6-12, is Children’s Mental Health Week 2023, which takes place to raise awareness about young people’s mental health. 

At the perfect time to coincide with Children's Mental Health Week, a new product from tech-for-good start-up Stix Mindfulness, which has been created to support children’s mental wellbeing through fun, interactive mindfulness, has been launched. Stix Mindfulness is aiming to support all families, particularly those that are on waiting lists for mental health care support. 

Their new device, The Stix Remotes, aims to support children’s mental wellbeing by guiding them through a variety of fun, therapeutic activities. These games include balancing, deep breathing, guided meditations and much more. 

Progress can be easily tracked on the Stix app, where children can earn age appropriate rewards, encouraging them to keep practising through positive reinforcement. 

This award-winning innovation has been designed for 5 to 12 year olds in response to the alarming rise in mental health care referrals amongst young people. These referrals for children’s mental health care are up by 39% in the last year. An estimated 1 in 6 children and young people in the UK have a diagnosable mental health condition. Many of these children continue to have these problems into adulthood.

Research shows that not only does mindfulness help to reduce anxiety and stress, but it also builds resilience, improves focus, emotional regulation, sleep and family relationships.

Stix Mindfulness have been collaborating with Brunel University London to create a mindfulness programme built into their technology that provides a journey for children to progress through, allowing them to develop different wellbeing techniques along the way.

The co-founder of Stix Mindfulness, Liam Murphy, has said, “All children can benefit from developing a mindfulness practice at a young age. I started using a mindfulness app when I was 17 years old to support exam stress, and realised soon after that it would have benefited me throughout my entire school career had I started at a young age”. 

Stix Mindfulness is a unique way for children to be introduced to the act of mindfulness. They consist of two interactive remotes. With one held in each hand, a child is guided through mindful activities such as ‘Belly Breathing’ and ‘Ball of Light’.

The Stix Remotes monitor the child’s movements and provide feedback through audio-based instructions, lights and vibrations to keep them focused and engaged in what they’re doing. 

Children can sync back up to the app after they’ve completed their mindfulness activities where they will be rewarded with badges and stars. These can be used on the app to customise their own mindful monster.

Liam Murphy also explained, “We spoke with families and found that a key driver to continuing healthy habits at home is being rewarded - children value rewards - and so we decided that this would be central for our product offering to encourage children to develop a mindfulness practice”.

Looking at feedback, Lily, aged 7, from London said, “Stix helps me when I’ve had a stressful day of school or I need to calm down at the end of the day. I love using them before I go to sleep as it relaxes me. They are really amazing!”.

For more information on Stix Mindfulness, click here.