A major component of the Bridge Program is weekly lessons on social emotional skill development and long period skill practice. During weekly modules, students learn and develop skills related to social competence, problem-solving skills, autonomy, and a sense of purpose and future as they become resilient and independent learners.
Additionally, toward the end of each long period, students practice coping skill exercises that enhance weekly coping modules. These long block activities were created in hopes to move from a guided weekly module to continuously practiced and internalized skills. Activities include, visualization, guided imagery, anxiety relief, sensory scripts, mindfulness, and other meditation practices. Students currently find space on the floor to lay down or sit at a table. We have in the past borrowed exercise mats from the BHS fitness center. Since meditation and guided visual practices have become an integral and daily component of the Bridge Program repertoire, we believe it is important to invest in seating/mats that would allow the students to feel comfortable and genuinely deepen their relaxation and calming practices.
Meditation has been proven to help ease somatic symptoms related to mental health diagnosis’ including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. It has also been shown to increase one’s attention span, allow a reprieve from outside trauma and/or stress, create a better sense of self-awareness and self-regulation, and create greater empathy, perspective-taking, and emotional control.
Today, we received our new meditation mats to utilize in our side room space dedicated to our students as a safe place to relax and take a break. The picture below shows our very own Scooter trying out one of the new mats!
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The Bridge Program: Burlington High School