With the support of a County of Summit Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services (ADM) Board $5,000 mini-grant awarded in association with the Summit County Suicide Prevention Coalition in March, recent Green High School graduate McKayla Buck has left behind a mental health legacy at her school, earning the Girl Scout Gold Award in the process.
Buck, who is also a Girl Scout, readied a “Calm Corner” relaxation space in the school’s library last year to help students destress. The idea came to her when she realized her autistic sister needed a space in school to calm herself when she became overstimulated. Having conceived of the idea, she submitted a proposal of the project for the Girl Scout Gold Award and was approved, earning Girl Scouting’s most prestigious award.
Since its completion, school employees have noticed the Calm Corner in use during every period of every school day, which shows its value in the building. The project was overseen by Child Guidance & Family Solutions mental health consultant Jessica Kraus, who works onsite at the school.
“I was so impressed with McKayla writing the grant by herself,” Kraus said. “With the pandemic, we’ve seen a rise in students with anxiety and depression, and McKayla’s project couldn’t have come at a better time.”
Upon being awarded the $5,000 ADM Board mini-grant, Buck ordered relaxation chairs along with sensory items to assist those who make use of the Calm Corner. She was able to expand her efforts via the mini-grant funding to include 50 “Relaxation Buckets” containing resource information and additional sensory items for school classrooms. Having graduated earlier this year, Buck was glad to leave the space for students to use in the years to come.
“The Calm Corner is a space that you can use to calm down and destress,” she said. “Now I’m leaving this space for others to use.”
For more information about Summit County ADM Board mini-grants offered in collaboration with the Summit County Suicide Prevention Coalition, visit https://www.admboard.org/mini-grants-for-suicide-prevention-announced-.aspx.