CHS Establishes Wellness Center for Students & Staff


Amira Brown

Photo courtesy of Amira Brown.

As part of Cinnaminson High School’s commitment to supporting students’ mental health, a wellness center has been established at the high school. Located in the old computer lab, B224, the wellness center is overseen by wellness counselors Janae Dockins and Anthony Faltz.  The room is dedicated to providing a safe space for students and staff here at CHS.

Efforts to bring a wellness center to CHS started last year after recommendations from students. Faltz took on the project and began looking for resources to make it happen. Junior Morgan Coates accompanied Faltz to a mental health convention at Lenape High School.

“Mr. Faltz and I got to represent Cinnaminson in a great networking opportunity. Lenape welcomed us with open arms. I collaborated with other students to brainstorm different ways schools in Burlington County can better educate students and accommodate those dealing with mental health issues,” Coates said.

They toured Lenape’s wellness center and brought back notes and ideas to apply to the creation of ours.

According to Dockins, the wellness center has a very clear goal: to facilitate a safe space and a place to breathe for all members of the CHS community.

“Students can come, relax, do some work, they can chill on the couch, they can watch the screen. If they need a more private conversation, either myself or Mr. Faltz will go downstairs,” Dockins said.

Room B224 has been transformed into a calm, tranquil room. Split up into four quadrants, the room creates a space for everyone. 

One section has a couch and is designed to be an area where students can relax. Section two is outfitted with paper, pencils, and art supplies for students to complete school work and let their creativity flow. A third section  has bean bag chairs and a TV screen to promote restfulness while the final section has a table to eat at or just relax.

In addition to the calming ambience, the wellness center has a no cell-phone policy.

“We also have a no cell-phone policy if you come in here, you can drop it in the box up front, kind of for a way for students to decompress, and get away from Instagram/Snapchat and all of that crazy stuff,” Dockins said.

While the wellness center is a helpful outlet for students, pre-existing thoughts about what warrants a visit to the wellness center may hinder its success.

“People kind of think of the wellness center as a bad place or like a weird place, but getting rid of that stigma, it’s really for anybody,” Dockins said.

Dockins said she hopes for the de-stigmatization of the wellness center and having her as another support system in addition to Faltz, will encourage more students to reach out.

Dockins expresses that the wellness center was created to be a space enjoyed and used by all and they are open and welcome to ideas and recommendations from the community.

“I’m more than welcome to listen to all ideas, and then working with Faltz to see what kind of game plan we can come up with to best support the staff and the students,” Dockins said.