MHANYS just released a report looking at wellness spaces at schools across New York State entitled SPACES (Supporting a Peaceful and Calm Educational Space). This report is a compilation from schools that were interviewed across New York State that have some form of ‘safe spaces’ for students. Tomorrow’s panel will feature three such models—from Keene Central School District, Valley Central School District and Brooklyn Lab School. The registration link for the panel discussion is listed below.
Mental Health Association in New York State
(518) 434-0439 | MHANYS.org
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The Mental Health Association in NYS, Inc. (MHANYS) has released a new report to help schools support the emotional health needs of students, teachers and staff. Supporting a Peaceful and Calm Educational Space (SPACES) was developed with funding from Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company and outlines six recommendations for creating wellness spaces in schools.
With the passage of a 2018 law requiring schools to provide instruction about mental health as part of the K-12 Health curriculum, schools have developed innovative strategies to teach students how to manage stress and to provide them with opportunities to practice coping skills. “Our staff with the School Mental Health Resource and Training Center have been hearing about Mindfulness Rooms and Calming Corners in classrooms since before the pandemic”, states Glenn Liebman, MHANYS’ Chief Executive Officer. “We were intrigued by the idea and wanted to learn. When we searched for guidance and best practices, surprisingly, we didn’t find much information.”
Earlier this year, MHANYS began collecting their own data about the use of wellness spaces. Through a survey and key informant interviews they found, regardless of demographics or size, schools were repurposing rooms as small as storage closets to provide a comfortable and inviting space when students need to self-regulate or remove themselves from high stress situations. Their report explores potential barriers, as well as solutions and recommendations for creating a variety of spaces, including wellness rooms, sensory hallways and corners in classrooms.
It is MHANYS position that these initiatives are an excellent strategy for promoting mental health literacy, reducing stigma and creating a positive school climate that supports wellness and safety. The MHANYS School Mental Health Resource and Training Center staff are available to provide technical assistance, resources for mental health education, professional development, and information for families. For more information, visit mentalheathEDnys.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Register – Here Overview: Supporting a Peaceful and Calm Educational Space (SPACES) Recommendations and Examples of “Wellness Spaces” from NYS Schools