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Joliet, IL: U of St. Francis adds sensory room for 'decreasing stress and anxiety'

Feb 28, 2020, Patch, Joliet, IL: Schmitt Scholar Project Leads to Opening of Sensory Room at USF Students attending the University of St. Francis (USF) have a new option for relieving stress thanks to the school's Schmitt Scholars, who recently opened a sensory room at the school's main campus in Joliet. The room, located on the third floor of the LaVerne and Dorothy Brown Library, offers "I had experienced a sensory room while working with foster children at a summer camp. For the past three years, we implemented a sensory room into the camp. We set up a few touch, smell, see, and hear activities in a room, including pasta noodles to sort, pillows of all textures, and foam puzzles. Also in the past two years, we introduced aromatherapy tools to help the kids. The Schmitt Scholars figured that if we could create a safe space for USF students to use their senses and refocus their thoughts, then we could potentially decrease the pressure college students put on themselves," Rogge said…. "As a group, we felt that college students would benefit from a space that promoted a break from the stress of college for a few minutes. Taking this break would ultimately make USF students better by having an increase in concentration, among other benefits. We believed that everyone, including employees, could benefit from a space that is created for the purpose of decreasing stress and anxiety through low-stimulus activities such as coloring," she said…. "The student response has been very positive. Students are happy with the space and appreciate it," Barron said. "Survey responses included comments such as, 'I feel much better after spending 10-15 minutes in the room,' and 'the room calmed me before my quiz," to "I have ADHD and I felt like I could understand lecture so much better after spending time in the sensory room.'"…

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