Wellness Zone Offers Students a Space to Relax and Recharge
Drexel University undergraduate and graduate students needing a break from juggling the stresses and challenges of classes, extracurricular activities and so much more now have a new safe, quiet space to visit: the Wellness Zone.
Operated through Drexel’s Counseling Center, the Wellness Zone is located in Creese Student Center on the University City Campus and is fully furnished as a multipurpose room available for those Dragons. When using the space, students have access to puzzles, coloring books, Sudoku books, sensory fidgets and more destressing objects and activities. The room is equipped with comfortable furniture, mood lighting, aromatherapy diffusers, yoga mats, and ways for students to download and listen to music, relaxation sounds and meditations.
“Students had been asking for a designated place like this for wellness and mental health reasons, and when we recently inherited this space, which was previously used by other departments, it just made sense to make it a place for students,” explained the Counseling Center’s Executive Director Tania Czarnecki, PsyD.
Sparked by student interest, the room was created using recommendations from both students and experts on campus. Czarnecki collaborated with Drexel Autism Support Program (DASP) Director Amy Edwards, EdD, as well as students in the Active Minds at Drexel University student organization, the Undergraduate Student Government Association, the Sigma Phi Epsilon Pennsylvania Beta Beta Chapter at Drexel University, and a work study student in her department.
“Most of the space was driven by student feedback,” Czarnecki said, adding that it was important to approach this new area on campus through collaboration to create the best possible space dedicated exclusively to student wellness and mental health. She also received feedback from students and University partners related to implementing procedures, curating offerings and including items and activities in the room.
The Active Minds group, for example, suggested the salt lamp and essential oil diffuser now in the room, as well as the idea of a collaborative Spotify playlist for students to add calming songs and play them through the room’s portable speaker.
“We also suggested the idea of student organizations renting out the room for events,” said Emma Smith, music industry ‘23, who is co-president of Active Minds. “Many organizations host destress events during exam season on campus, so we thought the Wellness Zone would be a great resource to these organizations while exposing more and more students to the Counseling Center’s mission and resources.”
Since opening June 21, the Wellness Zone is available to be booked by groups of one to two people at a time for 60 minutes — as well as for special events hosted by student organizations, as Active Minds had recommended. To use the space, students can sign up at the front desk of the Counseling Center in Creese 201 up to 48 hours in advance of the visit. Currently, the Wellness Zone is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; from now until Sept. 4, the room will close at 11:30 a.m. on Fridays for summer term hours. An open house was held July 22 for students to check out the new space and learn more about its offerings and place in the Counseling Center.
“We think the Wellness Zone will be a great resource for students who want a place to unwind and may not feel comfortable in their dorms or in other areas on campus to do so, and also for student to learn more about the mental health resources available on campus,” said Smith. “It is great to see more emerging mental health resources for students to utilize who may not be interested or in need of therapy. The Counseling Center has always been great about prioritizing Drexel student’s mental health at all stages, from prevention to treatment to crisis intervention. We are also very excited about how the zone tailors to both neurotypical and neurodivergent individuals, because making sure a space is welcoming for all students is very important.”
Are you a Drexel student interested in visiting and using the Wellness Zone? Check out the Counseling Center’s website to learn more about operations and house rules, as well as curated virtual relaxation resources.