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Middle School Adds 'Calming Room' As Mental Health Resource

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - One school in Philadelphia has a new mental health resource.

Tilden Middle School has added a "calming room" where students can chill out and relax.

Just as the name says, it's a place for students to settle down and take a moment when things get overwhelming or upsetting, they can turn to the calming room.

Fifth-grader Rob Geb, likes the reading station, where there's a comfy couch, cozy blankets and pillows. He says the calming room is a great place because "when people are hurt and they have anger issues they can come over and chill down and listen to some good music then they go back to class feeling great."

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The furry pillows are meant to help students refocus their anger and begin to relax.

There is also a guided meditation space, where students can listen to soothing sounds on one of five stations.

Peggy Banaszek, Cigna Community Ambassador, came up with the idea for the calming room that's sponsored by Cigna's Community Ambassador Fellowship Program.

"Unfortunately, a lot of students come to school with tension from homes, families, or neighborhoods," said Peggy.

The calming room is a place where tensions can be defused, so mental health issues don't cause issues with behavior, academics or relationships.

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"We realize suspensions don't work," said Brian Johnson, the schools principal.

"In middle school, there's a lot of anxt," said Brian. "Sometimes students who don't know how to deal with it, they exhibit that anxt. They don't know how to calm down from it. This is a way we're going to teach them some strategies to utilize."

Seventh-grader Embaba Mengesteape, who likes the art station, hopes more students will use the calming room.

"I think it's a very good idea cause a lot of students at this school don't have perfect temper," said Embaba.

There is also a guided meditation space where students can listen to soothing music from five stations.

Time in the calming room is limited and monitored, and it's available to both students and staff.

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