UMD Group Looks to Help Relieve Stress on Students, Staff and Faculty

Research Shows the Program Decreasing Stress-Levels by 38 Percent

Thousands of students, staff, and faculty in the Twin Ports deal with hectic lifestyles and stressful situations on a daily basis.

As we find out in this week’s Animal Answers, it’s why one group at UMD is continuing to keep their paws, pointed toward the future.

When it comes to higher education, it’s much more difficult to say the dog ate your homework.

“At the University of Minnesota Duluth, we are really student focused and we want our students to be successful,” Adam Brisk, UMD Online Learning and Outreach Librarian said.

Student leaders, staff, and faculty are putting success before stress on the campus.

“We have a semi–monthly, stress–reduction event called pet away stress or PAWS coming up on Thursday, November 3,” Brisk said.  

The Duluth Animal Allies is continuing to partner with the University, bringing in leashes of love for all to enjoy.

“Students have an opportunity to become just a little bit normal and just pet a dog. It’s not something most students get a chance to do,” Brisk said.

Having just skidded past midterms, these Bulldogs are preparing for a big political week, and finals are also on the horizon.

Brisk says, “With the election being as stressful as it has been and emotions run high, getting to have a little dog just to sit on your lap for a couple seconds really makes you think in a nonpartisan way that maybe life’s going to be okay.”

Day-by-day, life throws new lessons from all different angles.

“They are very busy with studies, jobs, relationships, friendships, all the things that go into college and having an opportunity to just have a normal little interaction with a little dog and get back to the grind again is great for them.”

Busy schedules can lead to blurred student minds. Brisk says if students are walking in a group, they suddenly stop what they are doing to come over and pet the dogs and cats.

UMD PAWS encourage everyone to post on social media, letting friends and family know they are getting involved.

“All of a sudden they are transported to an eight year old state of mind, and they get really excited,” Brisk said.

Research collected from the University shows a 38 percent decrease in student stress levels when animals are around.

“This gives us an opportunity to let them know that there are ways to cope in a healthy manner with their stress.”

Sponsors of the regular UMD PAWS events include Animal Allies, Employee Wellness Program, KUMD, The Katherine A. Martin Library, UMD Health Services, UMD Wellness Collaborative, UMD Serve, Office of Environmental Health and Safety, and Kirby Student Center.

Click here to see more PAWS events scheduled for 2016-2017. 

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