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Student-created 'Tranquility Station' brings mental health resources to State College park

Centre Daily Times - 6/10/2023

Jun. 10—A new installation in Sidney Friedman park is offering free mental health books and resources for the State College community. Created by students as part of their spring project with the Jana Marie Foundation's Reach program, the Tranquility Station aims to spread mental health awareness and resources throughout the community.

The Reach program helps middle and high school students create community service projects with a mental health focus — one project for each semester of the school year. Throughout the spring, the four State College Area students built a mental health resource box to stand in Sidney Friedman Park. The box contains stress balls, books and resources about mental health and emotional wellness.

After the May 11 installation, many of the books and resources had already been used by the community, prompting the Reach program to refill it already.

"It's good to know that people know about it and are using it," State High junior Emeline Reese said.

Joe Johnson, a leader for the program, said the project was entirely student led and created, with the four students coming to a consensus on a mental health lending library as the best way to serve the State College community.

"They all came up with the design themselves and sketched it out and then (local nonprofit) Doing Good with Wood built the box, we sanded it down and painted it," Johnson said.

Alongside mental health books, the students included pull-out infographics on different coping skills, mental health resources and information. The infographics were part of the student's fall project, where students drew on past experiences, research and passions to choose their mental health topic.

"I love the infographics," eighth grader Lilah Reese said. "We all put a lot of time and like character into them."

Although the project aims at helping the greater community. Johnson said he's seen the Reach program positively impact the students as well.

"I've just seen a lot of growth in them too in the past year," Johnson said. "They've formed a lot tighter of a bond with each other and they all want to encourage each other to come back to the group again next year."


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