In the Bear Down Recreation Center is a hidden spot for stressed students to just get away.

“We can come here and just unwind, we can color. A lot of the time it’s quiet, the staff is super nice, there’s a bunch of resources and stuff that they have, said University of Arizona student Jordan Demler whofrequently uses the space.

This space is called the Health Promotion Hideaway. It offers calming activities for students to “destress” and a comfortable space to study and hang out.

The resource is available because many students have struggled with their mental health. During the 2022 fall semester, the University of Arizona conducted a health and wellness survey.

Nearly 4,000 students responded to the survey, and four out of every ten students shared they struggled with issues like anxiety and depression.

“We want to decrease from the 40% of students having any sort of mental health issue overall,” said Amy Amaya, a health educator with the Health Promotion Hideaway. “We have dogs that come in mid-September every Monday from 2-3. We’ll also have puppies that will come in and students can come in and pet them and de-stress.”

The calming space isn’t all the health center offers. It also hosts a Stress Busters Club where students can volunteer to help other students de-stress with free back rubs.

“It’s just that sheer physical contact, which is somewhat stigmatized, but it really does have that physiological effect of just calming your body. It gives you the chance to talk about resources or just how your day is going.”

Any students looking for resources for mental health, or health in general, can find the Health Promotion Hideaway on the first floor of the Bear Down Recreation Center.