A Simple and Accessible Tool to Improve Student Mental Health Wellbeing

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Background: Stress and depression negatively impact nursing students. The rate of depression in undergraduate nursing students is approximately 20%-34%. Mindfulness has been shown to improve mental health in a variety of populations.

Methods: This quasi experimental pretest-posttest study included twenty six prelicensure nursing students from a public university in the Pacific Northwest, US. Students used a mindfulness application (app), Smiling Mind, for 6 weeks. Stress (PSS), depression (BDI) and self compassion (SCS) were measured.

Results: There was a statistically significant reduction in stress, depression, and an increase in total self compassion.

Conclusions: It is well documented that nursing students experience stress and depression and the need for simple and cost-effective interventions to support students’ mental health. Using a mindfulness mobile app is promising to improve the mental health of students. Our study showed that minimal app usage resulted in significant positive effects. It is a simple, easy, and cost effective intervention that students can use for mental health wellbeing.