Pause Breathe Smile

Helping junior students manage the ups and downs of life

What is Pause, Breathe, Smile?

Pause Breathe Smile is New Zealand-researched and developed, and mindfulness-based wellbeing programme designed to equip children aged five to 12 with tools to mange the ups and downs of life and set them up for a healthy future. The programme is internationally recognised and was introduced to all schools in the Ngā Mātāpuna o te Waihora Kāhui Ako in 2021.


Originally developed at the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand and further developed and operated by the Mindfulness Education Group, Pause Breathe Smile is now the flagship social responsibility programme for Southern Cross and is governed by the Pause Breathe Smile Trust. Leading the programme are the same people who have been leading Pause Breathe Smile since the beginning.

Healthy minds are just as important as healthy bodies. Pause Breathe Smile helps kids learn important emotion regulation skills, develops self-awareness and kindness. It builds emotional literacy and resilience  and helps our kids to develop a positive sense of connection to themselves, others and the natural world.


Pause Breathe Smile can help ensure that our tamariki are equipped with awesome mental skills to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing, uncertain world. Skills like learning how to regulate emotions, build self-awareness and relate positively to others. We know that learning these skills early in life can help kids thrive now and in the future. The programme is taught through Ako in the junior school at Ellesmere College – Te Kāreti o Waihora.