Petting dogs for coping with stress for students
With dogs against the exam stress. An unusual stress management project has been launched at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. By cuddling with young dogs, the students will be relieved of the pre-Christmas stress during the exam phase.
Before Christmas, a number of exams are scheduled at Canadian universities. The tension and stress of the students is correspondingly high. This led to an enormous response to the unusual action of Dalhousie University. As “the doors on Tuesday afternoon for the first of three Puppy room sessions Opened this week, more than 100 students were queuing up to spend a few minutes with a Labradoodle, a Sheltie, and a Golden Retriever, ”reports the university.
Hundreds of students relax with the dogs Around 450 students have used the opportunity to relax a little with the young dogs in the past three days, explained the initiator of the project, Michael Kean. The considerable number of participants also shows how high the students' need for relaxation actually is in the run-up to Christmas. The Labradoodle, Sheltie, Golden Retriever, Dalmatian, Papillon and Saint Bernard used were trained therapy dogs, which otherwise do their work in nursing homes or hospitals, for example. For the students at Dalhousie University, the dogs were an extremely welcome change. Most visitors stayed five to ten minutes, some even up to half an hour, Kean reports, adding: "Everyone reacted positively." The idea for the project came from Michael Kean, who is studying environmental sciences at Dalhousie University after learning about a similar one Had heard of the program at McGill University in Montreal.
Dogs against nervous breakdowns and depression? Young dogs were also brought to campus at the University of Montreal to help students relax. Nervous breakdowns and depression of the students should be avoided with the help of the four-legged friends. Since Michael Kean is currently personally suffering from considerable exam stress, he immediately thought of implementing a comparable project at his university. The Vice President of the Student Union at Dalhousie University, Gavin Jardine said: "I was immediately exhausted by the idea and so excited." The dogs come from the "Therapeutic Paws of Canada" initiative. The Studentenwerk made the necessary space available. Everyone is aware that the action cannot solve the students' stress problem, but the dogs help at least a little to relax, explained Gavin Jardine.
Dog cozy room attracts worldwide attention When asked how she felt after spending time with the dogs, Rachel Foster explained that she felt "relaxed, full of happiness." The students played with the dogs and talked about what they were talking about distract from the stressful everyday life of studying, Michael Kean explained the positive effect. Lindsay Dowling from the student union of Dalhousie University said about the stress of the students: "They want to be the best in their field in order to get a great job afterwards", which is not easy in the current job market situation. Although Dalhousie University is exemplary in dealing with student stress, other activities such as the 24-hour wellness room for yoga, meditation or a short nap have not had the same media response as the current project the dog cozy room. This idea unexpectedly attracted worldwide attention, the university said. According to Lindsay Dowling, "requests from around the world have already come to the action."
Therapeutic use of animals The therapeutic use of dogs and other animals is by no means new, but is already being carried out with different approaches in different areas. For example, animals should help people with dementia, but also patients with high blood pressure or extreme stress. However, reliable scientific statements on the therapeutic effect are usually missing. Other approaches use dogs or their pronounced sense of smell to diagnose diseases. Current studies have shown that dogs can smell lung cancer. Animals such as dogs and cats have been used for therapeutic relaxation for a long time, especially in the USA and Canada, but in Germany comparable actions like those at Dalhousie University are hardly imaginable today. With the tremendous response that the Canadian project has received, however, German universities may also have become aware of the unusual approach to coping with stress. (fp)
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