U. of Pittsburgh: Therapy dogs to relieve stress

Nov 30, 2017, NPR Pittsburgh: School Got You Stressed? This Program Has Students Pet Dogs As A Healthy Form Of Release University of Pittsburgh students can get help managing their stress from therapy dogs as part of Humane Animal Rescue's College Canines program. On a Tuesday night, the first floor of the Cathedral of Learning is brimming with students, their conversations bouncing off the high, arched ceilings. They sit on the ground, in more than a dozen small circles; at the center of each circle is a dog. Marni Greenwald, assistant medical director at Pitt's Student Health Service, said she sees students every day whose stress has manifested in physical symptoms. "There's a lot of stomach issues, whether it be diarrhea or heartburn," said Greenwald. "A lot of muscle tension, neck pain and back pain." Greenwald said that there also cases where stress has led to much more serious situations. "We’ll sometimes see students who present with evidence of self-harm: for example, cutting. We also see a fair amount of students with disordered eating," said Greenwald.