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Stress in teachers has been well documented prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, yet with the massive changes in remote learning, the health risks associated with in-person instruction, and the uncertainty of the pandemic, we expect teacher stress to have worsened. The Healthy Minds Program – an app designed by the Center and its non-profit, Healthy Minds Innovations – integrates mental exercises into daily life, with an approach that parallels the way physical exercise becomes a part of healthy living. In this randomized controlled trial, Wisconsin educators will either receive four. weeks of the program or be assigned to a control condition where access to the program will be provided after data collection.
There are three main aims to this study:
- Examine whether 4-weeks of the Healthy Minds Program results in reduced psychological stress and increased well-being;
- Explore the relationship between intervention engagement and outcomes;
- Explore predictors of intervention engagement in the digital space. This last aim is important because online or app-based interventions are rapidly expanding, but engagement tends to be low and drop-out rates high. To support well-being at scale in an environment where in-person intervention is not possible, it is critical to understand how best to engage and retain participants.