Puppy Therapy Provides Stress Relief for May Mental Health Month

For May Mental Health month, the Breakfast Club, a student-led initiative that promotes mental wellness, hosted a variety of activities to promote connection and dialogue on campus. The activities throughout the month of May helped to reduce mental health stigma and encouraged students to proactively seek out counselling services. The club organized a nail salon, which was very well attended, even by our male faculty. There was a panel discussion that highlighted the importance of early interventions that had both student and staff panelist. The club took advantage of the beautiful May weather with bocce and other field games.

The highlight of all these activities was puppy therapy with 15 trained therapy dogs. The trained dogs were from Vancouver Eco-Village. These dogs and their handlers are trained to assist in schools and other community settings to provide stress relief. Recent studies have proven that animal-assisted therapy helps decrease blood pressure, cortisol and reduce overall anxiety. We had 64 students and over 20 staff and faculty sign up for slots with the dogs proving that puppy love truly is powerful!