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Four legged friends help to promote wellbeing at Cardiff Met

Once again, Cardiff Metropolitan University has welcomed dogs on campus in a bid to promote student wellbeing. This time for World Mental Health Day.

The Campus Canines initiative was introduced last year to help students experiencing home sickness and stress. Following its success, the initiative has been reintroduced on World Mental Health Day after students expressed the positive impact it had on their mental wellbeing last year.

This year’s event took place on Cardiff Met’s Llandaff Campus and was offered to students across the University. Pupils were able to interact with and play with the dogs throughout the 3-hour session which also acted as a safe space to talk through anything they had on their mind whilst sharing any worries or stresses with fellow students and staff.

After the event students were provided with information about the student services on offer at the University and what to do if they find themselves struggling with their mental health or if they just want someone to talk through things with.

Keira Davies with Callie. Photo by Polly Thomas

Keira Davies, Students’ Union Vice President at Cardiff Metropolitan University said: “We’re thrilled with the success of this year’s Campus Canines event. Student wellbeing is incredibly important to us and we work to ensure all of our students feel well supported and looked after during their time at university.

“We felt the event was really important as we’re aware of the positive impact canine company can have on someone’s mood and mental health, so it was a no brainer to organise this with World Mental Health Day.”

Throughout the day every student asked said they felt less stressed after seeing the dogs and many who have dogs at home said they had been missing them a lot and the event saw them meet others in the same position with whom they could chat and swap stories of their own dogs at home.

One student, Donique, said she wasn’t a big fan of dogs before attending the event but had been encouraged to go along with friends. She admitted that once there she had fallen in love with a cockapoo named Lola who had lifted her spirits and improved her mood before returning to her afternoon lectures.

Claudia Evans, a student at Cardiff Met said: “Moving away to university can be a lonely experience so something like this is really nice and it just lifts you. I think its great that its taken place on Mental Health Day and being with the dogs is a great way of reducing stress. I’ve really enjoyed interacting with the dogs, they are all so sweet.”