Allina's Change to Chill helps Shakopee High students cope with stress

Change to Chill program at Shakopee High School
Shakopee High School juniors, from left, Caela Helgemo, Katie Sutton and Jennie Diep-Nguyen make “calming jars” with water, bottles and glitter together during homeroom. The workshop was led by four seniors to teach students about the effects of stress and how to cope.

[Shakopee Valley News, January 28, 2017] During homeroom, Jennie Diep-Nguyen, 16, said she would normally be on her phone or catching up on homework. Either way, she would be stressed. Instead, Diep-Nguyen spent a recent Friday homeroom before lunch laughing with two friends and pouring gold glitter into a small bottle of water.

The three Shakopee High School juniors were making “calming jars” they could shake when stressed out. While the glitter settles they are suppose to work on calming breathing techniques.

This was just one of five sessions about de-stressing seniors Betsy Berens, Sarah Gentrup, Makenzie Johnson and Mikayla Thompson organized in the fall as part of the Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) program.

“We got to pick from different options and I just felt like we all connected most with what Change to Chill had to offer with stress management,” Berens said.

Change to Chill is a free, online resource for teenagers that explains stress and provides activities on deep-breathing, mindfulness and life balance. It was created by Allina Health, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit health system that runs hospitals, including St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Shakopee, and clinics and other resources throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

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