According to the National College Health Assessment from spring 2015, stress and anxiety are the top two academic impediments for KU students. To help students relax, the Health Education Resource Office at Watkins Health Services brings certified therapy pets to campus.
Research shows that therapy dogs have a positive impact on college students dealing with stress, anxiety, homesickness, relationship difficulties and more. Playing with or petting therapy dogs can decrease anxiety in just five minutes.
Two popular outreach programs currently include animal therapy:
- Stress Busting Study Breaks are offered at Anschutz and Watson Libraries prior to and during finals week.
- Pause 4 Pups takes place twice monthly on Wednesday nights during the semester rotating among residence halls.
Both programs are extremely popular with students; many follow the dogs from week to week to the various locations. With additional funding, WHS hopes to expand opportunities for therapy dogs to engage an even greater number of students through classroom visits, health center visits and campus events. A fundraising initiative is underway to achieve this goal. Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution that will have a positive impact on our students.