MINNEAPOLIS — November 6 is National Stress Awareness Day. With the pressure of classroom load, work, and social demands today's college students experience significant stress.
On Wednesday, we talked to six students who attend the University of Minnesota juggling demands. Among the group, Mariah Coolucci, who thought about ending it all.
“I have actually attempted suicide before. I went through an eating disorder,” Coolucci said. “To walk past that and know that was in my past everyday just looking at how far I've come since that day in 2016 has been incredible for me.”
But the YMCA has a new way of helping her and others cope. It’s all part of Change to Chill by Allina Health. Susan Nygaard is the Community Health Improvement Manager with Allina Health. She said the Chill Zone concept was created after Allina Health conducted its three year community health needs assessment. That assessment revealed the need.
“We have partnered with schools across the metro and Wisconsin. There are 16 this year and there were nine last school. Each of these 25 high schools has their own chill zone,” Nygaard said. “All schools, community groups and even homes can create a Chill Zone, a space to relax, distress and chill.”
Coolucci, who hopes to work with youth one day, said the space has helped her tremendously.
“This igloo brings together people who are struggling. It creates an area where people can come and talk about their struggles and they know they are safe here. You can be open here,” Coolucci said.