This tool will assist with:
- Teaching young people the skills of meditation
- Reducing and managing anxiety or stress
- Managing early signs and symptoms of mood disorders
- Improving wellbeing and resilience
About 1 Giant Mind
1 Giant Mind
is an app that teaches the skills of meditation, using simple step-by-step instructions. The user is guided using videos and audio through the basics of meditation, what it can be used for and the potential benefits.
The app has levels and sessions that the user enters. They can't jump to the next level until they have finished all the sessions in their current level. The app also has a log of all the meditations completed as well as a timer (with a choice to have background audio) for when the user wants to mediate without the guide.
For self-assessment, the app also includes a brief pre- and post- meditation assessment of your mental state, and your attitude towards the practice of meditation.
Where to access this tool
1 Giant Mind
is free to download, and is available on iPhone, iPad and on Android phones.
Our young people rated the app ★★★★☆
Our professionals rated the app ★★★★☆
When to use 1 Giant Mind
This app is appropriate to use with young people of all ages, who are showing signs of mild to moderate mood or anxiety disorders, or experiencing periods of high stress. Meditation also has benefit for young people who wish to improve their concentration, focus and general wellbeing.
If you’re a psychologist, you can use this app as an adjunct to MBCT or ACT where the development of regular meditation practice was indicated - particularly for young people who feel overwhelmed by thoughts, or find it hard to clarify emotional states.
What young people thought of 1 Giant Mind
You could change how long you meditated for. For instance you could only do it for 10 minutes if you were short on time.
- You can log your meditations.
- It allowed me to escape the chaos of normal daily life for a period of time.
More follow up on how you feel after you’ve meditated might help.
- It is possibly too basic, but that’s also a good thing.
Professionals’ advice on using 1 Giant Mind in practice
Try doing a few sessions yourself or at least watch the videos so you can reinforce some of the key messages from the app.
Make the use of the app a collaborative decision based on the young persons goals and aptitude for meditation. Be prepared for motivation for meditation practice to vary.
Be available to provide more information or to discuss issues that may arise in meditation practice.
Highlight that while they are learning how to meditate they are actually meditating, so they are already working towards a broader goal. Continue to link work in your sessions with the aims and goals of meditation practice, including development of skills in observation and acceptance of thoughts and emotions. You can use these observations to affirm the young persons values and preferred life directions.
This app can also be used for your own self-care.
“...as a social worker who meditates using guided and unguided meditations for my own self care, I found this app quite refreshing and it made me remember the basics of why and how to meditate. I value meditation (to the extend that I created a meditation room for all staff and young people to use in one of my old jobs) so it is great to see more Australian apps that construct meditation as a tool for wellbeing, and just 'being' rather than just a spiritual practice.
I would also suggest this app to many of the social work students I supervise, as a way for them to experience the benefits of meditation as part of their self care plans.”
- Sera Harris
Tips for introducing the app:
After discussing reducing stress or how to feel more present as part of the young person's goals, introduce the concept of meditation and this app. Go through it with them (maybe even watch the introductory video together), and discuss the potential benefits to them of learning how to meditate.
The app suggests that the user practices meditation daily or even twice a day - talk this through so that if they miss a day or can't do it for as long as they have selected on the timer, they don't immediately feel that they have failed.
Make this a regular part of your check-ins with the young person, to see how they are tracking and if they found it helpful or if it wasn't of benefit. Explore reasons why / why not.
Use the self-rating system before and after a meditation as a point of discussion. Use it for assessing the impact of regular practice and the changes in attitude to meditation over time.
Advice from young people
- Help the young person you’re working with to be open minded and ready to meditate.
- This would be good for young kids to use.
This tool was reviewed by Jake (22) and Josh (23), young people from the ReachOut.com community. Professional advice was provided by Anna Sidis (Senior Clinical Psychologist) and Sera Harris (Social Worker).