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Guy Berry College & Career Academy is excited to begin working on a new campus addition. The school was recently named among 75 schools in the state to receive $2,500 from Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield to construct and furnish a calming room, aimed at addressing the mental well-being of students.
The funding is part of Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s Take Good Care Calming Room initiative.
According to state data, more than 14%, or 83,135 Arkansas children and teens, are dealing with anxiety and depression. Calming rooms are designed to give students who are feeling stressed or anxious a quiet place to reflect and refocus so they can perform their best when they return to the classroom.
Calming rooms often feature items such as:
- Soft lighting
- Tranquil colors
- Comfortable furniture
- Positive, inspirational messages
- Journals, coloring books and other sensory objects
“To mark Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s 75 anniversary this year, we wanted to do something that would make an impact on the health and well-being of young people in our state,” said Arkansas Blue Cross President and CEO Curtis Barnett. “What better way than to help 75 schools provide a safe space where their students can decompress and learn healthy coping skills that will last them a lifetime.”
In conjunction with its 75th anniversary, Arkansas Blue Cross has also trained nearly 900 people in communities across Arkansas in Mental Health First Aid, surpassing its goal of 750.
Construction of the calming room will be complete by May 2024.