Welcome to the NESTT

Liberty introduces a new program where students can seek mental health resources.

School can be very stressful for students. Constant homework, studying for tests, and prepping for college can be really overwhelming. With sports and extracurriculars, and maybe even a job, it can seem like you’re constantly busy with something. Being overwhelmed, anxious, or sad is completely normal, but it can be hard to deal with these emotions at times. This is where the NESTT (Navigating Emotional and Stress Through Training) comes in. 

Jake Binggeli, head of the NESTT and the Engagement and Intervention Strategist at Liberty stated, “…We are here to help students who need that mental health reset. For students who are struggling with anxiety, stressed, or just overwhelmed throughout the school day can come in and use this spot. In the past students went to their cars, and hid out in bathrooms. This is more of a safe spot that students can use.” 

The NESTT has many amenities including comfy chairs, a zen fountain, fidgets, sand, and so much more, and is available for anyone at Liberty to use. You don’t need special permission to use this room. 

“This is available to everyone, which is fantastic… So when that first bell rings till when that last bell rings, we always have a staff member in here and you can just ask your teachers ‘Hey can I come down to the NESTT?’ and they should let you come down,” said Binggeli.

It’s very welcoming, and it does feel relaxing, and a little removed from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the building. It seemed like a safe space.

— Jake Binggeli

Teachers are also excited about the NESTT and what it will provide for Liberty students. 

“It’s very welcoming, and it does feel relaxing, and a little removed from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the building. It seemed like a safe space. I know a lot of us [teachers]want that feeling of safe space for our students but it’s kind of impossible to provide that quiet reset when you have 28 other students in your classroom,” stated Kimberly Sleezer, English teacher. 

Sleezer also reflected on her high school experience and how it differed from high school now. 

“…I was in high school 85’-89’, and we didn’t talk about mental health at all. In fact, if you approached that topic, it was considered a weak point for you,” said Sleezer. 

The NESTT houses many fidget toys, comfy chairs, and welcoming people.

This has completely changed. High schools become more educated on mental health every year. Liberty is not the only school with a NESTT. City High School was the first school in the ICCSD to have a NESTT.  After its success at City, ICCSD decided to implement NESTT at every junior high and high school in the district. 

“City had a NESTT over in their building for about three years and found that it was super successful… At least 80% of their students had visited the NESTT during the time that they were at City. The District saw those numbers and wanted that in all of their secondary buildings and all the high schools,” stated Binggeli. 

Binggeli wasn’t the only one helping to get the NESTT running at Liberty. Brooke Bulman, Student Family Advocate at Liberty, was also crucial in setting it all up.

“At the end of last year, the counselors were talking about wanting to do a NESTT because City High had one going. What I did was connect to SFAs at City and get information on their NESTT. So I gathered a lot of information at the end of last year to kind of get us started with where we were at this year,” said Bulman. 

Thanks to all of the hard work in getting the NESTT running, there have been over 100 visits to the NESTT. So, the next time you feel overwhelmed, or just need a break, head on over to the NESTT. 

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