“The Blue Room” Provides Tenafly Students With a Safe Space


The Blue Room is a safe space for students.

Michelle Lee, Staff Writer

In 2016, Tenafly High School and Tenafly Middle School began to work with CARE PLUS NJ to better support the student body’s mental health. As a result of that, today, THS’s very own clinical program manager, Ms. Huston, can be found in what is called “The Blue Room.” 

The Blue Room is a safe space always open for students to drop in and have somebody to talk to. It is located in the guidance wing. All students are encouraged to drop in and speak with a mental health professional whenever they feel like they can’t catch up with life. The Blue Room is furnished with comfortable chairs and many board games. 

At the beginning of this school year, the freshmen were informed by their senior peers that The Blue Room was available to them. On the first week of school, it was bustling with laughing students, who took advantage of what they were offered. One freshman said, “It feels really welcoming to come to high school and not have to worry about where to go for lunch. The Blue Room is perfect when it comes to that.” Ms. Huston was excited to find students enjoying the safe space and finding peers to socialize with. “I’d love for any new students to come here and know that they do have a place to sit and to enjoy themselves and to be with someone during lunch,” she said.

Ms. Huston is available to the student body not just through drop-ins. She also coordinates various therapeutic groups throughout the year that aim to increase students’ coping skills with whatever they are dealing with and provide destressing opportunities through social interactions with a trusted adult and peers. Additionally, she interacts with the staff of Tenafly High School, discussing different strategies that adults and teachers can implement to better support their children and students when it comes to mental health struggles inside and outside of THS. 

The future for THS’s mental health program looks to expand and support healthy mentalities for students both at school and at home. The growth of THS’s leadership programs such as Teen Pep and Peers, both of which help spread awareness for topics like sexuality and mental health, will certainly have a positive influence on students as well. THS and CAREPLUS’s goal is simple: they wish for students to feel as though they are in a safe environment with adults who are open to listen to any student issues or thoughts. Hopefully, as the program expands and becomes increasingly familiar to the THS community, more students will be able to find the stability or rest that they are seeking in The Blue Room.