Iowa City students learn to navigate stress and anxiety in new mental health classroom

After seeing too many of their peers at Iowa City West High School crying in hallways, Helelia Wa Kalala, 18, and Nao Oya, 17, both seniors, advocated for a space where students can have their feelings before returning to class.

The school converted a classroom in to a NESTT — which stands for Navigating Emotions and Stress Through Training — where students can check in at any time during the school day to learn mindfulness, emotional regulation and distress tolerance.

“It’s like a home away from home where students can feel safe,“ said Wa Kalala, co-president with Oya of a mental health advocacy club at West High.

Read more on The Gazette.


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