Merced Union High School District launches virtual 'calming room' for students

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- A North Valley school district is finding new ways to provide students and staff with mental health resources during this challenging time.

Merced Union High School District provides students with a virtual calming room to help those struggling with mental health with everything from crisis lines, to workouts. The website is designed to help students and staff with anxiety and stress.

Before Valley schools closed their doors, counselors were only a few steps away from students who might be struggling.

"They can access us at any time of day, when they step out of class, come in during lunch, and so take that resource away it's really important to have something available to students," said Golden Valley High School Counselor, Ashley Faraone.

When the coronavirus pandemic forced students to work from home, it was a very different picture.

"The reality of the situation set in," said Merced Union High School District Manager Katelyn Mayo. "The realities of learning, being home all the time, started to set in."

The virtual spot provides guided practices on meditation, visual relaxation, and stress management apps.

"This is an extra way for students and staff to get lower level support without having to get in contact with us directly," said Mayo.

The virtual calming room is located on the health services page of the districts website.
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