PHS takes proactive step towards mental health

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Living with depression, anxiety, self-harm impulses, personality disorders, and other disorders are a part of our daily reality. As time goes on, it almost seems as if these issues become increasingly common amongst youth, more specifically high school students nationwide. 

Recently, as the world evolves to fit to the accommodations of a diverse population, the negative connotation behind mental health has been alleviated. The lifted the stigma behind mental health contributes to the bringing of light to these issues that would otherwise be unspoken of, and could previously be described as better left unsaid. 

Because of this, more stories of success and recovery reach the surface. 

Every day, as students work towards graduation and are eventually left to face the real world, the impending stress can loom above them and often distract them from reaching a path of overall success.  For students struggling with issues such as stress, anxiety, depression, and an overall sense of being overwhelmed with anything and everything, a new resource is available for students on campus. 

With baby-blue walls, dim lighting, comfortable chairs and beanbags, a projection of the aquarium hitting the center of the room, and an aura of calming music floating through the air, the mindfulness room has been one of the most beneficial additions on campus. 

Run by social worker Lindsay Taylor, specializing in treating adolescents with mental health issues, the mindfulness room is unique in the sense that the door is always open for students in need. For example, students having panic attacks, depressive episodes, or stress associated with life are able to go in and receive free therapy and advice. 

“We’re trying to drop the stigma attached to [mental health] and allow kids to feel like it’s okay to struggle with mental health issues like anxiety and depression,” Taylor explains. 

In the mindfulness room, students can participate in various activities such as journaling, sensory activities, and eventually, some students will be able to work with interactive self-help books.

“The goal of this is to help them find coping skills that work for them, and allow this to be a safe place for them to work on that,” Taylor adds when describing the various activities students can participate in. 

The mindfulness room is officially open while being in the works, but its existence has not even been announced publicly to students on campus. However, the door is always open for students in need. 

In the future, once she receives her official mindfulness certification, Taylor aims to bring in classes individually to participate in meditation or mindfulness exercises, in which everyone can benefit from.

With an ever-changing society lightening the connotation of having a mental illness, the implementation of the mindfulness room will eventually lead to overall sense of awareness and acceptance across campus.  

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