We asked King’s students if petting puppies is really helping their mental health
“Are dogs ever a bad idea?”
There are over fifty 'Wellbeing Week' events happening this week, with the most popular of them being the recurring 'Doggy De-Stress' – where students are encouraged to relieve their stress by petting some fluffy little friends.
Earlier this week, the Vice President for Activities and Development showed that not everyone agrees with the popularity or efficiency of the event, as she ended her Twitter debate about mental health at King's with "[s]houldn't we be working hard to fix a broken system rather than petting puppies all day?"
So today, we went along to the 'Doggy de-stress' session and asked a few students what their thoughts were on "petting puppies" as a means to help with mental health.
"Of course it helps mental health. There is something theraputic about animals. They instantly relax you. It's so important especially in a high pressured uni like King's"
Jessica Rose, Post-Grad, Nursing.
"It's always nice to see the effects the dogs are having. How they are affecting students"
Rowena, carer for the dogs at 'All Dogs Matter'
"I miss my own dog. That unbiased animal company. It's not like you can go round petting all the dogs you see in London. This is a good alternative."
Imogen, 2nd year English and German.
"It's fun to see the dogs, but it has a social element too. You meet loads of different people".
Gifa, 2nd Year, English Student
"Mindfulness helps mental health. You have to be mindful around dogs, so clearly Doggy De-Stress will help with student's mental health"
Bruce, Post-grad, Physiotherapy student
"Why wouldn't it be good for mental health? Living in London you don't experince animals like you do elsewhere. Animals help mental health, there is no way around it."
Emily, 1st year, Medical student.
"Students always leave with smiles on their faces"
Julia, Wellbeing Coordinator at KCLSU.
Perhaps more needs to be done at King's in the Wellbeing department – but these fun, stress-relieving activies do not seem to be a hinderance.
And as all of the donations collected from students go to the charity 'All Dog's Matter', students are not only gaining happiness, but they are also doing a good deed – it is a win-win situation.
Special thanks to Tom Keogh for the amazing photos in this article