Students practice emotional, physical, social, and community well-being habits by de-stressing at a pet therapy event, hosted by Elon SPARKS Peer Health Educators and the Kopper Top Learning Center PAAWS Program.
Students relieve midterm stress and anxiety by bonding with rabbits, cats, and dogs during a pet therapy event on Tuesday, October 11, at Moseley West Lawn. During the event, students can hold pets, play and spend time with their choice of rabbits, cats or dogs.
This event was a collaboration between Campus Recreation and Wellness’ Elon SPARKS Peer Health Educators and Kopper Top Learning Center PAAWS Program. The same long-term partnership also demonstrates the importance of the welfare of the community.
Animal Assisted TherapyPet therapy, or pet therapy, refers to the benefits of touching and interacting with animals to aid mental and physical healing. The popular form of therapeutic recreation emphasizes The bond between man and animal. Pet therapy is used in various Including hospitals, nursing homes, schools and long-term care facilities.
Pet therapy can help with emotional, physical, and societal wellness. Pet therapy affects emotional wellness Reduce stress levels and increase serotonin, motivation, self-esteem and pride. It can also build self-esteem, improve relaxation, and provide a sense of accomplishment. Additionally, there is a social wellness component to pet therapy for students.
“It brings them together. They might need a new friend today. Even once you hold one friend, they hand it to the next person and suddenly they’re best friends,” said Kelsey Barron, a graduate wellness intern. Pet therapy can also increase socialization. And communication, teaches responsibility.
When bonded with pets, participants can walk or play with the animals, allowing them to increase their physical activity. Physical activity can help treat high blood pressure. Pet therapy can also help maintain muscle tone and increase flexibility. Community wellness is practiced in pet therapy by Increasing environmental awareness among the participants and teaching them how to take care of the environment and animals.
During the events, students can experience the emotional, social, and physical benefits by connecting with pets and others who also attended the event.
“I’m much happier than I was before,” said Jay Brill 26. “I carried a rabbit I had never had before. So, the experience achievement unlocked. It was so much fun.”
Leah Short told 24, “It’s like a little pick-me-up, because a lot of times, Elon’s culture is work and work and work. So, that’s when I can come in and de-stress for a short period of time.”
Many students, including Dalila Makki 24, shared the same thing A painful experience and they managed to find a sense of home.
“I come from a house where we had dogs and cats and everything. It kind of makes me feel home and at peace,” Makki said.
Sarah Tyner 25 agreed with this feeling and how beneficial the pet therapy event was for her. “I have anxiety, so petting animals helps me reduce that, and it’s also very fun because I love animals,” Tyner said.
Other points gained by the students were how to take better care of themselves emotionally and physically through bonding with animals and materials provided by Elon SPARKS Peer Educators who participated during the event. “Sure, I’ve learned that I need to take a break sometimes and de-stress and focus on myself instead of school all the time,” said Justin Roger.
The long-term partnership between Elon SPARKS Peer Health Educators and the Kopper Top Learning Center PAAWS Program illustrates the importance of community wellbeing.
“I think all the different collaborations that happen between all the different Elon groups and community organizations is a great way to teach our students how to become global citizens, how to recognize their own civic duty and learn about the good that volunteering can do,” Barron said. for their community.”
Deborah Meredith, Recreational Therapist, Founder and CEO of Copper Top Life Education Centersaid Elon was integral to making the pet therapy program possible.
“Honestly, I thank God every day I have links Someone to help bring students to us to volunteer. I appreciate the volunteers who come and help us, the sororities, fraternities and individual students who do an internship. Everything was so great to help us. We value partnership. “I enjoy bringing animals in to help the students, too,” Meredith said.
The next Pet Therapy event will take place during Spring 2023.
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