Virtual calming room helps Inglewood students and families with mental health

With Inglewood students in mind, Morningside High School and LACOE created a virtual calming room to promote mental wellness.
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- Stigmas around mental health are beginning to change as more people are willing to talk about wellness and self-care.

"Given just how tumultuous this last year, maybe last few years have been, I think students and just everybody in general has learned to talk about everything more," said Scott Bastian, director of student support services for Inglewood Unified School District.

With students and families in mind, Morningside High School in Inglewood and the Los Angeles County of Education teamed up to create the Calming Room. It's free for anyone who needs it.

"We wanted the Calming Room to be a place where people could come and really focus on receiving and initiating some self-care," said Janice Barnes, community school specialist for the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE).

The Calming Room is a virtual resource accessed from the Morningside High School's home page that provides tools to promote wellness and resilience. It offers tips, activities and aids that have to do with relaxation, healthy eating, fitness and more.

"When quarantine started I had like a lot of things in my mind that would stress me out most of the time," said Ines Cuenca, a 10th grade student at Morningside High School. "But once in the Calming Room, it helped me get those thoughts out of my head."

According to a national poll on children's mental health by C.S. Mott Children's Hospital 46% of parents said they've observed signs of a new or worsening mental health condition for their teens since the start of the pandemic in March of 2020.

"During a pandemic, it's tough for us as adults," said Claudin De La Torre, educational community worker for LACOE. "So, we have to put ourselves in the situation that the kids are going through."

Anyone can utilize the Calming Room by the Morningside High School website and clicking on resources.

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