United Way of Greater Chattanooga Partners with Unum and Hamilton County Schools to Launch the First Calm Room for Students

by | Apr 14, 2023 | Early Childhood Success, Education, News, Press Release, Youth Success | 0 comments

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (April 14, 2023) – United Way of Greater Chattanooga has partnered with Unum Group and Hamilton County Schools to design and bring to life calm rooms for local students to utilize. The first calm room just opened with the Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts (CSLA).    

The need for mental health services for students in our community has never been greater. Calm rooms create a peaceful and defined space for students to manage the stress and anxieties that can occur in their day-to-day life. Students can take a quick break in between classes and reset, or have the opportunity to wait in a calming space before speaking with a counselor. United Way of Greater Chattanooga is excited to continue this partnership with other area schools to serve even more students.   

“This has been a partnership of passion to help support our local students,” said Lesley Scearce, President and CEO of United Way of Greater Chattanooga. “We know there is a critical need for mental health services in our schools. This calm room is just one solution we can offer students as we continue to work together to close the gap. The benefits of a calm room extend beyond the walls of the school. We want to arm students with the tools to better understand stress and anxiety and help them find confidence and encouragement to be the best version of themselves.” 

Thanks to a generous grant and volunteer support from Unum and support from the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) District Council 77, the CSLA calm room transformed from a waiting room area to a dedicated relaxing environment. Designed with calming paint colors, low lighting, soft seating, and more. See the final space come to life with these before and after photos. 

“We are proud to partner with United Way of Greater Chattanooga to create designated spaces like the calm room to help students prioritize mental wellness habits and manage stress and anxiety,” stated Matt Royal, Unum SVP, Investor Relations and Treasury. “A Unum study found that over half of U.S. workers, primarily Millennials and Gen Z, felt mentally unwell in 2022. Unum’s Behavioral Health solution delivers personalized support for workers to help them focus on mental wellness.” 

The first calm room to launch with CSLA will provide an opportunity to gain feedback from students and faculty to help design future calm rooms. This community partnership can’t wait to hear how the space is used and how it can be improved to be even more inclusive for all students. See the opening of the first calm room with photos from the ribbon cutting ceremony on April 14, 2023.  

“At Hamilton County Schools, one of our strategic goals is to ensure all students feel a sense of belonging in their schools. This calm room is another step in the right direction. By having a place for students to decompress and recharge, they can participate more in class and better connect to their peers and teachers.” said Dr. Justin Robertson, Superintendent of Hamilton County Schools. “We are grateful to the United Way of Greater Chattanooga and Unum Group for helping make this space a possibility for our students.” 

United Way of Greater Chattanooga is already working with other Hamilton County Schools to help reach even more students, moving us one step closer to closing the regional gap in mental health services. 


About United Way of Greater Chattanooga

At United Way of Greater Chattanooga, we envision a community where all people achieve their full human potential through education, stability, and health & well-being. Our mission is to unite people and resources in building a stronger, healthier community. Together, we drive measurable, lasting impact for our community. None of us can do it alone. UNITED, we can. For more information, visit our website www.staging.unitedwaycha.org.

About Unum Group

Unum Group (NYSE: UNM), an international provider of workplace benefits and services, has been helping workers and their families for 175 years. Through its Unum and Colonial Life brands, the company offers disability, life, accident, critical illness, dental, vision and stop-loss insurance; leave and absence management support and behavioral health services. In 2022, Unum reported revenues of $12 billion and paid $7.9 billion in benefits. The Fortune 500 company is one of the 2023 World’s Most Ethical Companies, recognized by Ethisphere®.

Visit the Unum newsroom for more information, and connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About Hamilton County Schools

The Hamilton County School District is comprised of 576-square miles in southeastern Tennessee with a population of 366,207 residents. Our 79 schools consist of Pre-K through grade twelve with nearly 6,000 employees responsible for educating over 45,000 students. For more information, visit our website www.hcde.org.