Mental health in schools and universities


The mental health of students gains ever-increasing attention in schools and Universities globally. This attention has evolved to active concern and calls for action during the COVID pandemic, as social distancing and isolation increase the incidence and intensity of mental health problems. The mental health problems that have been aggravated by the pandemic include anxiety, stress, lack of motivation and resilience, and decreased social connectedness. When left unaddressed, these issues can escalate to depression, compromised relationships, substance abuse or addictions, and even suicide.


Bringing Evidence-Based Positive Mental Health Workshops to Schools and Universities in Europe

As a certified SKY Campus Happiness Instructor and Hatha Yoga instructor, Nalini offers the evidence-based SKY Campus Happiness Workshops, Yoga workshops and combined workshops in University campuses and in private settings as a volunteer for the Art of Living Foundation (AoLF), the International Association for Human Values (IAHV), and the TLEX Institute. Combined SKY Campus and Hatha Yoga workshops are offered in Germany under the name “Art of Living Happiness Program”, a program certified by all German State Health Insurances.

Please contact us if you would like to organize a custom-made SKY Campus or Hatha Yoga workshop for students/staff in your school or University.

Current Research on the SKY Campus Happiness Programs

In a recent study by Yale University (see also the Harvard Business Review Article here) three popular tools for promoting mental health and building psychological resilience were studied under a registered, randomized controlled trial [1]. 131 university students were either placed in a non-intervention control group (N-47) or received training in one of three 30-hour, 8-week semester-long well-being program:

• SKY Campus Happiness (“SKY”, N-29), incorporating the SKY breathing technique
• Foundations of Emotional Intelligence (“EI”, N-21) or
• Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (“MBSR”, N-34).

All programs showed a positive impact: SKY Campus Happiness showed the greatest impact benefiting 6 outcomes: depression, stress, mental health, mindfulness, positive effect and social connectedness. EI benefited one outcome: mindfulness. The MBSR group showed no significant change.

[1]. Seppälä, E. M., Bradley, C., Moeller, J., Harouni, L., Nandamudi, D., & Brackett, M. A. (2020). Promoting mental health and psychological thriving in university students: a randomized controlled trial of three well-being interventions. Frontiers in psychiatry, 11, 590.

Several independent research groups worldwide are conducting research on the SKY breath meditation workshop to identify and support the evolution of best practices to support student mental health in schools and universities. For a list of published research on SKY, see here. Nalini and her team at SIRN are also actively involved in co-designing research proposals to further study the (mental) health impacts of such programs. Please contact us if you would like to fund/collaborate on such research.

BREATHE Knowhow Provider and Collaboration Partners

International Art of Living Foundation, SKY Campus Club, TLEX Institute, International Association for Human Values

Recent/Upcoming Hands-on Workshops and Talks on SKY Breathing/Art of Living Happiness Programs in Universities

D. Ghahremani and M Kochupillai, Bio-Hacking Happiness: The Science of Breathing and Emotion, Mental Health Day, TUM Institute for Lifelong Learning, 10th October 2022 (For TUM Staff/Faculty only)

M. Kochupillai, Desktop Yoga for Students and Researchers: Release, Refresh, Refocus,TUM4Mind Digital Awareness Weeks, 7th November 2022 (for TUM Students only)

E Seppällä and M Kochupillai, Science of Breath: Evidence-Based Yogic Breathing Techniques to Enhance Energy, Focus and Creativity, TUM4Mind Digital Awareness Weeks, 7th November 2022 (for TUM Students only)

M. Kochupillai and J Matthiessen, SKY Breath Workshop (“Art of Living Happiness Program”) Sponsored by the TKK Health Insurance, 25-27 November 2022. (Only for students of the Technical University of Munich)

M. Kochupillai, Moderator/Panel Chair, Promoting Student Resilience in Universities: Solutions to the Mental Health Crisis, in the conference: “Changing Paradigms in a Pandemic World: How to Regain Trust – Health Happiness and Ethics” organized by the World Forum for Ethics in Business on World Health Day (Online) 07 April 2021.