Perry’s new mindful addition to campus


Gracie Stapley

Social worker Lindsay Taylor talks with students in mindfulness room.

Mindfulness Room: Open to Anyone Who Needs a Minute

The mindfulness room is Perry’s latest proactive step to combat issues related to mental health. Run by social worker Lindsay Taylor, aiming to create a safe space where all are welcome whether they need somewhere to calm down or even just to hang out. Located in room C-105, the mindfulness room is dedicated to calming practices, including meditation, journaling, and utilizing sensory items.

Alongside her masters, she is trained in mental health and has a school social worker certification and is going through the process of getting certified in mindfulness. She came to the district after several groups of parents pushed for social workers to be present as an extra step in making sure their children have all the resources they need to be healthy and successful. 

Mental health issues have become extremely prevalent in people from all walks of life across America. More notably, these diagnoses are on the rise in teenagers, with suicide beating homicide for the spot of the second-leading cause of death in persons between the ages of 10-24 years old, according to a study performed by the John Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Mental Health Weekly Digest reports that “… [approximately] one in five teens suffer from a disabling mental illness.” For a school of almost four thousand students and many more faculty, this hints that a prolific amount of people need help.. Furthermore, has put forth that by the age of 14 around half of all mental disorders have taken root. This means that helping people during their high school years might be the key to preventing any long term detriments that can come from untreated mental health disorders. 

While this campus might be gearing up to take the necessary steps to take down the stigma surrounding mental health, it certainly is not the first school in the Chandler Unified School District to do so. Mrs. Taylor hopes to implement classes and even host groups in the room to battle the stigma and get ahead of any issues these teenagers might encounter.

Mrs. Taylor told us, “We live in a different day and age and I think that actually, even better, mental health…we’re trying to drop the stigma attached to it and allow kids to feel like it’s okay to struggle with mental health issues like anxiety and depression and stuff like that.” This is just a small peek into her hopes for the room.

Later this year she is planning to have a grand opening once the room has been properly set up and is ready to go. This isn’t just for our four thousand students and faculty, the aim is to open it up to the community as part of an outreach program. As of right now she has set up a Twitter account for the room: @PUMASmatter to help get the word out and reach more people. She has even set up a hashtag of the week to get more people involved and inspired.  She is determined to make this space so much more than just a room for kids with anxiety. All that’s left to do now is watch and see how it grows.