Penn State students lack feasible opportunities to relieve stress.
Stress is part of the daily life at Pennsylvania State University. Students are often exposed to stress. Academic factors are one of the most significant stressors. Without more tangible options for students to utilize, they will continue to be stuck in the cycle of not having immediate coping mechanisms.
What does Penn State offer?
The Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) was established to provide students with coping mechanism. CAPS offer short-term counseling, crisis intervention and psychological evaluations. It is a phenomenal resource on campus. However, the wait list to speak to a counselor is weeks long. Students with daily stressors cannot afford to wait that long.
Students deserve immediate access to stress relievers provided by the campus.
It is important to give students resources to relieve stress because of the physical and psychological damage stress can cause.
1. Animal therapy can be helpful to lower chronic stress. Currently, animal therapy is only available about two times a semester. Students should have more opportunities to interact with therapy animals because there is research showing the benefits of animal therapy. This research found that exposure to therapy dogs greatly reduces post exam stress which can help students physical and mental well being. An added benefit is that students who interacted with therapy dogs before an exam had higher exam scores when compared to the scores of students who did not interact with therapy dogs.
2. Comfortable relaxation rooms with aquariums spread throughout campus could also be a resource for stressed out students. Aquarium will provide better atmosphere for people to relax and reduce their stress. There is research showing exposure fish reduces symptoms of stress. This research found that watching videos of fish significantly reduced heart rate and blood pressure, two of the most notable physical reactions to stress. These rooms would give students an area to clear their head which would allow them to focus on their studies.
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