PEABODY, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The city of Peabody is on a mission to support its student's mental health.
Several classrooms across Peabody's elementary schools now have their own 'Think Spaces', special areas designed to give students a chance to process any strong emotion they're feeling without having to leave the classroom. The spaces have a comfy blue chair, a feelings guide, and sensory tools to help kids process their emotions.
School social worker Maria Champigny told WBZ's Brooke McCarthy said the new spaces are helpful for students to feel better without having to leave the classroom.
"[They can] feel what they're feeling and that's okay," she said. "Then they can join the rest of the group and then they'll be ready to learn and be able to absorb that academic learning that they need."
The Peabody Education Foundation's mental wellness initiative funded the project to create these think spaces. PEF Executive Chair Dave Gravel said they hope to have think spaces in every elementary school classroom by the start of next school year.
"Our goal in our mental wellness program has been not been just to touch the kids," Gravel said. "It's to touch the teachers, touch the administration, and you touch the parents because we're part of the big cycle."
Gravel said that as they expand the think space program, they've been getting a lot of support from the community.
"As we're doing more things in the community and there's more awareness, we're getting more people and more groups stepping forward," he said.
WBZ's Brooke McCarthy (@BrookeWBZ) reports.