Schools that Heal: Design with Mental Health in Mind

Student-designed Forest Walk at PS 111 in Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan

In this talk, Claire Latané covers her research on how we can design outdoor spaces to foster positive mental health outcomes at schools. I love that her first principal is all about fostering a sense of belonging through inclusive, participatory design processes, the cornerstone of the New York City Playgrounds Program. Her second principal encourages nature-full environments, and her third principal is all about encouraging awe in our everyday lives. As we head into spring, let utilize the trees and awe-inspiring gardens in our playgrounds to reduce stress and increase wellness for students, teachers, and families alike. Your playground can serve as a comforting anchor in students lives, putting their minds and bodies in better state for learning.

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