Timberview unveils Wolves Zen Den

October 14, 2023
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Cutting the ribbon on the new Zen Den at Timberview High School is from left: Nick Newbold Cook, Center for Human Connection; Crystal Brown, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, Student Support Counselor Andrea Smith-Love, Timberview High School; Principal Derrell Douglas, Timberview High School, and Mansfield ISD Education Foundation Board Presient Elena Fernandez. (Photos courtesy of Methodist Mansfield Medical Center)

The Cook Center for Human Connection, a nonprofit dedicated to mental health and suicide prevention with schools and families, in conjunction with Timberview High School, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center and the Mansfield ISD Education Foundation, unveiled the “Wolves Zen Den,” a therapeutic space for students to reset and go back to classroom when individuals experience wellness needs. The formal ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Oct. 11.

The new Wolves Zen Den

A calm room is a supportive, therapeutic environment where students go to focus on self-calming efforts and learn to self-regulate their bodies and their emotions. Calm rooms feature quiet spaces with low-stimulation decor and fixtures, soft furniture and carpet, and other materials that reduce stress and foster positive coping techniques. Research shows that calming spaces can:

● Reduce negative student behaviors;

● Create stronger relationships between staff and students;

● Boost student learning;

● Improve students' self-esteem; and

● Reduce stress on students and staff.

THS was chosen as one of 25 schools awarded the CCHC matching grants of up to $5,000 to create a Calm Room in their building in March of 2023. THC was able to find funding from Methodist Mansfield Medical Center and the Mansfield ISD Education Foundation.

Mansfield ISD Superintendent Kimberley Cantu, Vice President of Operations for Methodist Mansfield Medical Center Crystal Brown and Timberview Student Support Counselor Andrea Smith-Love celebrate the opening of the Zen Den.

The grant program was launched last year to help schools create an in-school safe space for students to reset when they feel anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, angry or frustrated. More than 230 schools applied from rural and urban schools from across the nation, and those that demonstrated the greatest need and ability to make an immediate impact were selected as grant winners. Through the Calm Room Grants, CCHC aims to help school communities throughout the United States get the resources they need to boost mental health support and improve student well-being and school culture.

“The Cook Center for Human Connection is proud to support Timberview High School with their calming space, as many schools across the nation are dealing with the mental health crisis,” said CCHC Anne Brown, CEO and President. “As school leaders implement a variety of strategies to address mental health concerns in students of all ages, these therapeutic rooms are a powerful, research-backed tool to improve student well-being.”

“We are proud to prioritize mental health and wellness at Timberview and provide an opportunity for students and staff to have a peaceful place for a few minutes of peace and relaxation in our new ‘Zen Den.’ We are so appreciative of our community partners who have stepped up and provided this Zen Den for our staff and teachers to clear their head, relax, meditate and then be rejuvenated to focus on student learning," Mansfield ISD Timberview Principal Derrell Douglass said.

“At Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, we believe that everyone should take time for self-care and quiet their mind and stay centered and healthy. We are extremely pleased to help fund the first Zen Den in Northeast Tarrant County and congratulate Mansfield ISD on their mindfulness practice.” says Methodist Mansfield Medical Center’s Vice President of Operations Crystal Brown.

“I would like to express how proud the Foundation is to be a part of dedicating the Timberview High School ‘Wolves Zen Den,’ and we look forward to seeing the positive results of providing calming visual, auditory and tactile experiences to help students and staff of Timberview High School distress,” said Elena Fernadez, President of the Mansfield ISD Education Foundation.

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