This year, the MSW@USC is addressing the stigmas of mental health head-on with #KnowB4Stage4 — an initiative focused on prevention, early intervention and treatment for mental illnesses. To support this initiative, we have partnered with David Romanelli (known as Dave), a leading health and wellness innovator who specializes in integrating ancient healing traditions into modern popular culture.

Dave will be working with MSW@USC to create a toolkit of preventive meditations and mindfulness tips that organizations, agencies and mental health practitioners can leverage as a resource to their community. Check back in the coming months for new meditations from Dave that will help you take a step back from your hectic life and refocus your energy where it matters most — on you.

Why Mindfulness?

Recent medical research suggests that meditation may have proven neurological benefits, and can support mental health recovery from anxiety and depression. Mindfulness is also a key component in building resiliency when facing life’s stressors. We believe that mindfulness is an excellent tool to complement our #KnowB4Stage4 early intervention initiatives. Here is what current scientific research is saying about mindfulness:

Can help develop a different relationship with the stream of negative thoughts called depressive rumination1.

Has profound health implications for depression and anxiety disorders2.

Reduces stress2.

Mindfulness Meditation:

May rival antidepressants in easing the symptoms of depression3.

May give practitioners greater cognitive flexibilility and help them to become less reactive2.

Decreases emotional reactivity, helping people disengage from emotionally upsetting pictures and better focus on cognitive tasks1.

Activates the brain region associated with more adaptive responses to stressful or negative situations2.

Try a Meditation

Now that you’ve learned some of the many benefits of meditation, we invite you to try one of our guided meditations led by Dave Romanelli. Each meditation was created with a different intention in mind. Whether you’re new to meditation or if you’re advanced in the practice of meditation, there is something here for you.

Meditate On Calm (for Beginners)

Meditate On Healing

Meditate On Gratitude

Want more mindfulness tips? Watch a video below.

Mindfulness has many applications, from increasing self-awareness and strengthening listening skills to improving concentration. Whether this is your first attempt or you’ve been leveraging this powerful tool for years, Dave’s simple tips and tricks will help you apply mindfulness to your life.


Watch the Video


Watch the Video


Watch the Video


Watch the Video


Watch the Video

Share this Mindfulness Toolkit with someone who may need it using #Knowb4Stage4 on your favorite social media platform! If you or your organization has a resource page for mental health tools, we ask that you please add this page to your list.

Visit Dave’s website for more fun and accessible meditations and tips for living a happy and healthy life.

Citation for this content: The MSW@USC, the online Master of Social Work program at the University of Southern California