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"Emotional support animals" help stressed college students

Aug 21, 2017, Murray State News (Murray, Kentucky): Students seek solace in furry friends on campus: The rising number of ESA’s at Murray State http://thenews.org/2017/08/26/students-seek-solace-in-furry-friends-on-campus-the-rising-number-of-esas-at-murray- According to activeminds.org, more than 80 percent of college students reported feeling overwhelmed with all of their responsibilities in the past year, and 45 percent have experienced feelings of hopelessness. According to the site, mental health issues within the college student population, such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders, are associated with lower GPAs and higher probabilities of dropping out of college altogether. Almost one-third of all college students reported feeling so depressed that they had trouble functioning. With anxiety being such a prevalent issue among millennials and college students specifically, the search for relief and support has brought about the need for a furry companion, for some. These animals are commonly known as emotional support animals, or ESA’s. According to adata.org, ESA’s provide companionship, relieve loneliness and help with depression, anxiety and phobias. Ken Ashlock, associate director at the Office of Student Disability Services, said there are approximately 30 students who have registered ESA’s at Murray State. This does not include the very small percentage of students at Murray State who have a registered service animal. … “Emotional support animals are used for mitigating symptoms of a mental health issue,”...