DETROIT, September 7, 2022 — In partnership with the Detroit Lions’ mascot Roary and Detroit Pistons’ Hooper, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan launched a series of short guided meditations, “Mascot Mindfulness,” encouraging youth to adopt unique and effective ways of caring for their mental health through quick techniques to focus attention and encourage a heightened sense of awareness. Six videos, each running between two-to-five minutes in length, were produced in partnership with the professional sports teams and Blue Cross Virtual Well-BeingSM on topics including mindful breathing and gratitude. Research has linked meditation to improved mental well-being, academic skills and social competence in students. The benefits of meditation can lead to a reduction in anxiety, stress and self-doubt, as well as improvements in focus, self-confidence and better sleep. These are all helpful tools as students return to the classroom this fall. Mascot Mindfulness will also be rolled out to Michigan K-12 schools participating in Blue Cross’ Building Healthy Communities (BHC) program, as another resource to boost students’ overall health and refocus their mindset for learning. The BHC program is a public-private school-based initiative that supports children’s whole health by providing teachers, administrators and students the resources, curriculum, equipment and professional development to create healthier school environments, prevent childhood obesity, reduce chronic disease, improve academic achievement, reduce absenteeism, and address mental health and well-being. More than 200 schools participated in BHC the previous academic year (2021-2022), reaching over 90,000 students in Michigan. “Mascot Mindfulness has provided an opportunity to connect Blue Cross’ important work with Building Healthy Communities and Virtual Well-Being to our deep, rooted children’s health-focused relationships with the Detroit Lions and the Detroit Pistons,” said Ken Hayward, vice president and special assistant to the president for Community Relations at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “Offering kids and even adults the ability to reduce stress in quick and effective ways – guided by fun instructors like our teams’ mascots – can help make a difference in our overall well-being.”
Building Healthy Communities supports Blue Cross’ ongoing commitment to children’s health and its #MIKidsCan campaign – an initiative focused on encouraging kids to adopt healthy habits early in life that are more likely to be carried into adulthood. Since its inception, BHC has supported 469,000 students and 1,100 schools statewide. For more information on Blue Cross’ ongoing efforts to help improve childhood health, visit AHealthierMichigan.org/MIKidsCan.
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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides health benefits to more than 4.7 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies residing outside the state. The company has been committed to delivering affordable health care products through a broad variety of plans for businesses, individuals and seniors for more than 80 years. Beyond health care coverage, BCBSM supports impactful community initiatives and provides leadership in improving health care. For more information, visit bcbsm.com and MIBluesPerspectives.com.