Friday, May 10, 2019

From a reader in Bloomington, Indiana

Last month, vice-chancellor Sir Anthony Seldon of the University of Manchester, in England, endorsed the use of dogs as a way of reducing stress in schools and universities. "The quickest and biggest hit that we can make to improve mental health in our schools and to make them feel safe for children it to have at least one dog in every single school in England," he said.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds backed his call, saying more schools seemed to have "wellbeing dogs" and the pets can really help. Take Middlesex University, for example, where five dogs are working to help students with exam stress (including the three shown above). They're called "canine teaching assistants," and must wear staff ID cards. "You can really feel the stress levels reducing," says Fiona Suthers, head of clinical skills at the school. "It's hard to describe the impact of having a dog lying down in the corner of a class. I don't think any of us thought it would be so successful."

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