Puppy love to ease stress for students

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Puppy Rooms are coming to LJMU in an aim to reduce student stress levels ©Wikimedia Commons

Puppy rooms are coming to LJMU to help reduce student stress levels. Pic © Wikimedia Commons

Guide dog puppies are coming to John Moores University in a bid to reduce the stress levels of students and provide ‘pet therapy’.

Liverpool  Students’ Union has teamed up with national charity, Guide Dogs UK, to set up ‘puppy rooms’ for a relaxing environment for students to come and de-stress. The new scheme is part of a wider campaign to support students and their mental health.

Aisling Davis, Vice President of LJMU Community Engagement, is running the campaign and decided to get in touch with Guide Dogs UK after seeing their work with other universities.

She told JMU Journalism: “I have seen other SU’s, such as UCLAN, Chester and Bristol, host Puppy Rooms with Guide Dogs UK and they have been a huge success; not only at helping stressed-out students, but at raising money to support an amazing charity.”

Miss Davis also said the puppy rooms are often used in care homes, primary schools and hospitals, and have been proven to significantly reduce stress and improve concentration.

The Raise and Give society of Liverpool SU is taking part with fundraising activity for the charity. Gi-Ching Kwok, President of RAG, told JMU Journalism: “I wanted RAG to get involved in this not only to raise money for a great cause, but to raise awareness of mental health and the importance of relaxing at a busy time.”

Guide Dogs UK will be hosting three puppy rooms, each with three puppies and three dogs, at Redmonds building, Avril Robarts LRC and IM Marsh. The scheme is part of Liverpool SU’s ‘Mind Your Head’ week which will be running from April 11th to 15th across campus at the mini SU sites.

Miss Davis said: “I want Mind Your Head week to be more than just facts and figures about mental health. We see a lot of that, but don’t see people combatting it and talking about how they got through it.

“Mind Your Head week will combine fun activities alongside giving students the information they need and getting them to talk to each other about their mental health.”

The Puppy Rooms will be at these locations and times:
Monday 11 April: 10-1, Redmonds Room 233
Tuesday 12 April: 11:30-1:30, Avril Robarts Library, Seminar Room 1
Friday 15 April: 10-12, IMM Room B004

About Kamara Samuels, JMU Journalism