Tropical Lounge: fighting SAD on campus
Also known as “winter blues”, the Sub-syndromal Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affect about 21% of the UK population and its severe and more serious form is observed in about 8% of the population*. This disorder, which is triggered by the reduced amount of sunlight, takes place between September and April and some of its most common symptoms are depression, lethargy, sleep problems, poor cognitive function, anxiety and winter illnesses. A simple way of treating SAD is the use of light therapy, which uses the light box, a special lamp used to simulate exposure to sunlight.
Considering the impact of the Winter blues on academic life, I would like to suggest the creation of the Tropical Lounge, a warm, comfortable and bright place place for students to fight SAD on campus. The project can be adapted according to the available budget, but three main points should be observed, as shown in the attached figures:
- Light box: special lights used in SAD treatment are available for less than 30£
- Furniture: hammocks and comfy sofas/cushions for reading, chatting and relaxing
- Fruit Kiosk: selling fruits, juices and smoothies. It will raise money for the room maintenance; create part-time jobs; and promote healthy habits.
Besides offering a way to defeating SAD at Lancaster University, the Tropical lounge will also be a way to raise awareness of other mental health issues; to promote socialization across campus; and to improve community well being and consequently students productivity.
* data from NHS (http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Seasonal-affective-disorder/Pages/Introduction.aspx) and the Seasonal Affective Disorder Association (http://www.sada.org.uk)
Chris Loughlin commented
Brilliant! Could really do with that right now!
Lucio José Silva rabelo commented