Mental Health Matters: Paws 4 a Break

Mental Health Matters: Paws 4 a Break

(in collaboration with the University of Chester and The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association)

Paws 4 a Break is an innovative approach by UoC in order to deal with student wellbeing during exam and deadline season, and what better time to share the findings than during Mental Health Awareness Week?

So, what is Paws 4 a Break? Paws 4 a Break is an event held by the Student’s Union (that’s SU to you and me) in association with The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. The event invites students to head down to the SU and spend some time with the dogs. The exercise gives students the opportunity to learn, play and ultimately, de-stress!

Our Parcelpet reporter, and UoC graduate, was able to attend the event and speak to the students about how the experience had positively affected their mental health. Whilst some students noted that they just loved the dog’s general ‘cuddliness’ (who doesn’t?), others spoke of how being appreciated by a pooch gave them a feeling of self-worth, particularly during a stressful period of their life. Whatever the reason, 100% of students said that spending time with the dogs allowed them to de-stress and moreover, 100% of students said that they would like to take part in similar activities more often.

That’s a percentage which no one can ignore, nor dispute! A couple of students also mentioned that spending time with the dogs reminded them of home.

It seems that having a pup in our lives can make a huge difference when it comes to our mental health and not only that, but that we can actually learn a lot from our dogs too. Students spoke about the dog’s calm disposition and happy nature, and how this can be contagious to be around! Maybe, just maybe, by adopting the same outlook on life as dogs, us humans can improve our wellbeing.

Our conclusion? We say bravo UoC! Your innovative approach to student wellbeing has not only allowed students to de-stress, but they’ve learnt a heck of a lot too. I mean, as one particular student said, “how can you not be happy when you’re stroking a dog?”

Special thanks to Cherelle Mitchell, UoC SU President, for allowing us to speak to the students and for your hospitality at the event. Additional thanks to everyone that we spoke to, oh and if any of you do happen to be reading this, good luck with any outstanding deadlines and exams – you’ll all be brilliant!


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