Therapy dogs ease exam stress for Mount Allison students

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Change Your Mind program co-ordinates mental health outreach on campus

Mount Allison University welcomed some visitors, of the four-legged variety, on Dec. 3.

Hundreds of Mount Allison University students visited the Paws Room on Dec. 3 when 10 dogs and their owners came to campus through Therapeutic Paws of Canada. Among those taking part were: (front, from left) Lindsay Sherwood, Mount Allison mental health outreach co-ordinator, therapy dog Lacy, and her owner Joanne Cameron, (back, from left) Mount Allison students Kate Stymiest, Thomas Williams, Emily Crozier, therapy dog Zabka, and her owner Elizabeth Karpowicz.

SACKVILLE, NB — Mount Allison University welcomed some visitors, of the four-legged variety, on Dec. 3.

Ten therapy dogs, through Therapeutic Paws of Canada, returned to campus this year, providing great company and stress relief to students as they begin their exam period for the fall term.

Organized by Mount Allison’s Change Your Mind program, which co-ordinates mental health outreach programming to students through the university Wellness Centre, the event was very successful, welcoming hundreds of students over a two-hour period.

“We know it’s a stressful time of year for students,” says Lindsay Sherwood, the university’s mental health outreach intern. “A little time with the puppies helps to ease that stress and also serves as a nice break from their studies.”

“It’s a very exciting event on campus,” said student Thomas Williams. “A lot of students have pets at home they don't get to see regularly. It’s nice to have an opportunity to interact with the dogs before exams.”

The use of therapy dogs in university settings has become popular, as it is shown to be very effective in relieving stress.  

This is the second year Mount Allison has welcomed the dogs to campus. Therapeutic Paws of Canada is a non-profit organization of volunteers providing animal resources for human needs (physical, mental, educational, motivational, socialization) through regular visits to public venues such as hospitals, libraries, retirement residences, and schools.

 

Organizations: Mount Allison University, Wellness Centre

Geographic location: Canada

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