As Potosi School continues to expand and change the school’s environment, a new Brain Health Retreat room has been added where the old high school office was now connected to Mrs. Davis’ room.
This project started early summer when Tammy Cooley got an email from Brad Bierman with a link about a foundation that may be interesting. The Debby Buttler Foundation, or Brain Health Now, is a foundation that is working to end the stigma connected to the term “mental illness”.
As of right now, Potosi is the second school in Wisconsin to have this. The Brain Health Now organization did a lot when it came to involvement with the room. Each Brain Health Retreat Room in each school is very similar because the team at Brain Health Now does research on color and space and what is best to get people back to the right state of mind. Brain Health Now has also given us the money for the furniture that we have in the room, including the wall prints. Additional grants that the school has will help fund snacks and a screen for that room, and with the help of Jamie Pierce, a wall was torn down to get the room ready for the furniture.
The function of this room will work the same as Mrs. Davis’ open door policy. “Students with or without a pass can come in and will be required to fill out a check-in form with a QR code for why they were coming in. When the student is done they will also fill out an exit form asking if this room was helpful so we can present data to the foundation about how our students are using this,” Mrs. Davis explains. “There will be some student and teacher training so we all understand how this room will work. There will be time constraints on it so students can't spend a class period in there; it is just meant for a reset to get them ready to go back into the academic setting. We are also figuring out what the best way we can introduce the room to upcoming 6th graders.”
“The goal of this room is to not only help students but to also normalize that not everyone is okay all the time, students or adults,” Tammy Cooley comments. “Being a human being is having those ups and downs, and we shouldn't have to hide it when we are struggling. We should be able to find support within ourselves or in our systems.”
The brain health room officially opened on March 30th. To help students understand how this new room would work, an info video was shown to all the students about the room and how to use it, in hopes that this room will become a normalized thing.
For more information about this foundation and its message, please visit https://www.brainhealth-now.org/