De-Stress with Dogs - Canines help SU students manage stress during finals

2012-05-23

WHAT: Students are cramming for finals and what better way for a little reprieve, than hanging out with furry friends? A collection of dogs, including a certified therapy dog* will entertain and de-stress hundreds of students during a hectic time of year.  

WHO: The general student population. This program started 5 years ago in a dorm basement. The popularity has grown so much that hundreds of students now de-stress with dogs.   

WHY: Stress is the number #1 impediment to academic performance both nationally and on SU’s campus. In the past year, 88 percent of students felt overwhelmed by all the things they had to balance, according to a National College Health Assessment done at SU.  

A 2002 study examined the effects of the presence of friends, spouses and pets on the level of stress associated with certain relatively unpleasant tasks. They found that compared with human support, the presence of pets was associated with lower perceived and actual responses to stress.   

Another study showed that pets lower blood pressure and showed better heart function in heart failure patients after a canine beside visit. Even a short pet visit is proven to increase levels of feel-good endorphins and lower levels of stress.  

WHAT ELSE: Tables set up around the event to educate attendees about various proven methods of stress reduction/management as well as resources on campus to seek help when needed.

o        Stress balls – make one and learn the benefits

o        Aromatherapy – learn benefits and effects of different scents

o       Healthy Eating – why eating healthy is important and how diet effects stress and vice versa(free frozen yogurt!)  

WHEN: Thursday May 31, 2012 
            4-5:30 p.m.

WHERE: Pigott Pavilion Patio 
              (Easiest media access is from 12th/Columbia, building just to south, next to Student Center)  

*Wilbur ‘Willie Corr, a 9-year-old yellow Labrador is a veteran of the Shorewood High School Therapy Dog Program. A certified therapy dog, Willie is a member of the Delta Society and works with youth with behavior and emotional disabilities and developmentally delayed students. Willie appears every year in the staff section of the Shorewood High School yearbook.