A former computer lab at Sachem High School East has been transformed into a space for students to go to decompress during the school day. The Room for PEACE was developed as a proactive approach to provide students with access to a calm space with chosen, self-directed activities that promote development of coping skills and self-regulation. It opened this May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month.
Students utilizing the room acknowledge its mission statement:
Personal choice to
Empower themselves by becoming more
Aware of their own mental health and wellness and to develop
Coping skills and regulate
Students can choose to sign up and visit the room during their lunch period instead of going to the cafeteria or library. They can partake in a number of quiet, individual activities including meditation, listening to music, coloring, using the essential oil station and drawing on water tablets. It even has a fragrant garden that grows spearmint, peppermint, lavender and lemon balm.
School psychologist Dina St. Giles came up with the idea after implementing a virtual calming room during the pandemic. Once school reopened, she had the goal of bringing it to life.
“It’s a big building and the cafeteria can be overwhelming,” she said. “As a psychologist working with some students who have anxiety, there was no place like this for them to go. I’ve been thinking about it for a while.”
Ms. St. Giles hopes that the Room for PEACE will continue to grow in years to come. Next year, she plans on adding a resource library with tools that focus on wellness, as well as materials that teach students about anxiety and depression.
Date Added: 6/3/2022