Cook Center for Human Connection Offers up to $100,000 in Matching Grants for School Calm Rooms


Calm Room Grant will help schools create therapeutic spaces for students who need time and strategies to regulate their emotions and return to class able to learn

Salt Lake City — The Cook Center for Human Connection, a nonprofit dedicated to mental health and suicide prevention, launched today at the Mental Health Summit, co-hosted with the America Association of School Administrators, the Calm Room Grant to enable schools to create an in-school safe space for students to reset when they feel anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, angry, or frustrated.

The Cook Center is offering a nationwide matching grant of up to $5,000 per school for up to 20 schools to create a Calm Room in their building. A calm room is a supportive therapeutic environment for students to go where they can focus on self-calming efforts and learn to self-regulate their bodies and their emotions. An important component of an overall mental health approach, 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.

“More and more schools are developing calm rooms as part of a strategy to improve student well-being based on new psychological research,” said Cook Center CEO Anne Brown. “We are thrilled to offer the grant program to expand these efforts to more schools across the country and help them address student mental health, which has become one of the most critical issues of our time.”

Following the COVID-19, demand for mental health resources are at an all-time high, and mental health-related emergency room visits among youth is on the rise. The U.S. Surgeon General and the American Academy of Pediatrics have stated that youth mental health is in crisis. School leaders and educators are on the front lines in addressing this crisis. Through the Calm Room grant, the Cook Center 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. Research shows that calming spaces can:

  • Reduce negative student behaviors
  • Create stronger relationships between staff and students
  • Boost student learning
  • Improve students’ self-esteem
  • Reduce stress of students and staff

The Calm Room Grant requires that each school have a plan to open a new safe space in their school building within the 2022-23 school year and have matching funds for its installation of $5,000 or above. The grant has a rolling application period. For more details and to apply, visit https://cookcenterforhumanconnection.org/grants/.

About the Cook Center for Human Connection

The mission of the Cook Center is to bring together the best organizations, programs, and products to prevent suicide, provide mental health support, and enhance the human connections vital for people to thrive. The foundation’s current focus is on supporting children, families, and schools with youth mental health resources and on the goal of eradicating suicide. This work is accomplished through various grants to schools, programs for parents, and global resources to bring greater awareness to the support needed for those affected by mental health needs and suicide. Their free resources created to support child mental health and prevent suicide include  My Life Is Worth Living™, the first animated series about teen mental health and suicide prevention, and Parentguidance.org, a mental health resource giving parents the tools to have the important conversations at home. Their content includes free on-demand courses taught by licensed therapists, and family mental health nights hosted by trained professionals. Learn more at cookcenterforhumanconnection.org.

eSchool News Staff

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