Mid Wales

Aberystwyth students get dog therapy to ease stress

The event forms part of a wider programme of events at Aberystwyth University to promote student wellbeing and mental health during exams

Students at Aberystwyth University are getting a helping paw from man's best friend to help them cope with exam pressure.

Rescue dogs have been brought in for students to pet and play with as part of a series of stress busting activities.

Campus walks, adult colouring, and free exercise classes are also on offer.

Student welfare officer Naomi said the January exams could be "extremely stressful" for many students.

"Studies show that interactions with therapy animals can decrease stress in humans and are used in care homes, hospices, and many other establishments with great success and commendation," she said.

"Playing with an animal can increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease production of the stress hormone cortisol."

Image caption Colouring stations have also been placed around the campus to give students a break from their studies

Alpet Poundies Rescue teamed up with the students' union to bring the dogs to the campus on Wednesday, paid for using donations from Aberystwyth University alumni.

Director of student support services Caryl Davies said: "Students' mental wellbeing is all-important to us and our support services are available throughout the year.

"However, we know that exam season can be a peak time for stress in the academic calendar, so we've drawn together a special programme of activities to help ease the pressure."

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