Examining a web-based mindfulness intervention on university students’ well-being during COVID-19
University of New Brunswick
Student mental health and well-being services are an increasing concern in higher education. This exploratory study examined students’ experiences in a four-week online mindfulness program. Four brief mindfulness-based practices were introduced: breathing and movement meditation, mindful eating, body scan, and loving-kindness meditation. Fourteen participants completed online questionnaires to explore their experiences of mindfulness and how this intervention impacted their well-being. Results of thematic analyses suggest that there were variations in participants’ experiences and participants’ preferred mindfulness sessions. The sample consisted of 14 participants. Seven participants withdrew from the study while seven participants persisted throughout the intervention. Twelve participants reported beneficial outcomes. Findings suggest that the participants who completed the intervention reported an improvement in their ability to cope with stress, negative emotions and increased their self-awareness. These findings are congruent with those of other online interventions, and the intervention served as an effective foundation for exposing students to mindfulness. This study has implications for cost-effective mental health care delivery, given the current shortages in resources on university campuses and in communities throughout Canada.