A healthy campus culture is one where mental health self-care is normalised and accessible, and the addition of physical spaces can lead to a more rounded well-being.
With this in mind, the University’s Student Council, with the financial support of the Marigold Foundation, have inaugurated the first Calm Room at Students’ House, intended for individuals on the spectrum to decompress and feel at ease while here on campus.
This is the fruit borne from a campaign KSU started working on in 2019, and a result of the inclusivity arrangements made by the University of Malta to advance the studies of individuals with learning impairments.
Prof. Carmen Sammut, Pro-Rector for Students & Student Affairs, told those present that this year, the first intake of students since the inclusivity arrangements have been made by the University of Malta through its Access Disability Support Unit are going to graduate – making this room a good memento of their achievements.
Whilst thanking the University’s Health and Wellness Centre that have been consulted throughout this process, as were other professionals in the field, KSU President Matthew Xuereb said the creation of such spaces is not merely the responsibility of the University but also that of all other entities which people with learning impairments are part of.
Ms Michelle Muscat, Chairperson of the Marigold Foundation, stressed that the importance of launching such a space is twofold: firstly, people on the spectrum can have a space to repose following a day of lectures whilst still being in a central place on campus, but secondly and perhaps more importantly it is a sign that we are recognising that these students deserve a life equal to all of their fellow students and colleagues.
Finally, Hon. Clifton Grima, Parliamentary Secretary for Sports, Recreation and Voluntary Organisations, said this project coming into fruition is a sign that the Maltese society is evolving and recognising that the voluntary sector is important in its mission to support all members of society who can co-exist with eachother.
The Calm Room is located on Floor -1 of Students’ House, and is accessible through the University Quadrangle as well as Dun Karm Square.