Animal therapy to relieve stress of varsity students

MIRI: Curtin University Malaysia implemented animal-assisted therapy for a second time on its campus to help students relax while studying for their examinations.

Curtin Malaysia head of library and learning commons Mac’Earldon Mike Maxwell said many libraries now initiate programmes to support student growth, development and wellness.

“Exam time can be very intense for students in terms of stress and anxiety, and the library and learning commons at Curtin Malaysia believes therapy animals can help them relax,” he said.

Undergraduates at the campus will sit for their final examinations from Nov 11 to 22 while foundation students will do so from Nov 25 to 29.

This followed the success of the inaugural launch of the programme during the first semester this year.

The project was jointly organised by Curtin Malaysia’s library and learning commons and Curtin Volunteers.

Mac’Earldon said the social and therapeutic benefits of pet ownership or simply interacting with animals have been well

documented. “It can help reduce stress and improve outcomes among students,” he said in a press statement.

The event involved pet owners within the campus community and the public volunteering their pets for an ‘Animal Petting Corner’ and ‘Pet Tour’.

Many turned out to pet, hug, feed, brush, draw, photograph, sit near and play with the animals,

During the ‘Pet Tour’, the animals were taken on a tour of the library, 24-hour study area and student learning commons where they got a chance to interact with people in those places.

Booths were also set up for a donation drive and charity sales in support of local animal welfare groups and event partners Zero Strays and Animal Hope.

Voting for an Instagram photo competition held from Oct 26 to 30 was also carried out.

Participants of the competition had to take photographs of their pets or of themselves with their pets and share them using the hashtag #cvpawproject.

The winners won Starbucks gift cards.