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Lending Mindfulness: A Mental Health App Pilot

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Lending Mindfulness: A Mental Health App Pilot

Santa Clara County Library District, Calif.

Health & Wellness | 2019 | Top Innovator

Innovation Synopsis

Santa Clara County Library District is the first and only public library to partner with Headspace, a service offering 1,000+ hours of virtual meditation classes for all ages. Users can reduce their stress levels, help cope with pain and cravings, and better manage their anxieties. Headspace Premium service is $99/year, but free from the library.


In 2014, four in 10 adults reported poor mental health in the past month and one in four kids had symptoms of depression in the past year*. Stressors included work, health and finances for adults and youth cited physical, psychological and/or cyber-bullying. According to a 2019 Pew Research study, 96% U.S. adults own a cellphone and 81% own a smartphone. With widespread access to a mobile device, the Headspace mindfulness app is highly beneficial and easily accessible to patrons.
*Santa Clara County Community Health Assessment

Key Elements of Innovation

Headspace offers a variety of programs for all ages, from a few minutes to over an hour of deep relaxation. Users can save their progress, begin, pause and return to a lesson. All they need is an electronic device and Wi-Fi. The science behind Headspace has been published in studies of clinically validated research, showing favorable outcomes in reduced stress, improved focus and decreased aggression. SCCLD is the only library system partnering with Headspace to deliver 24/7 mindfulness and testing an app lending model.

Achieved Outcomes

From Mar 18-Jun 18, 2019, over 8,400 meditations were completed, with nearly 85,000 minutes logged. Patrons are using the app on average 3.6 times per week. Popular topics include basic meditation, sleep, stress/anxiety management and everyday mindfulness. All 580 of our seats are in use with a growing waitlist. We anticipate that users are enjoying mental health benefits similar to those found in the clinical studies performed. We’ll most likely grow the number of seats once automated registration is available.