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Resources for reducing stress during finals

by Chloe Ranaldi April 4, 2017
Resources for reducing stress during finals

Concordia offers a variety of services to help students make it through finals

We are approaching the time of the year where students become increasingly more stressed, anxious and sleep deprived. Concordia offers a variety of programs for students anxious about finals and looking for assistance.

Pet Therapy

The Concordia Webster Library organized a Pet Therapy session to help students take a break from their studies. Students crowded around two pugs near the library’s course reserve room on March 29 between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

“I think that pet therapy is a great way for students to take a break from school and de-stress,” said Ana Grubac, a Concordia economics major, who was at the event.

According to the article “Between Pets and People: the Importance of Animal Companionship,” by Alan Beck, director of the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University, in Indiana, petting a dog lowers blood pressure and helps your body release hormones like oxytocin, which is linked to happiness.

According to the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, “some people have experienced increased output of endorphins and dopamines after just five minutes with an animal.”

In addition, even brief encounters with pets, such as the ones who visited Concordia, help reduce levels of anxiety.

This year marks Concordia’s third edition of pet therapy, an event organized around the final exam period to help students cope with anxiety and stress.

“Some of the students are away from home and miss their own pets,” said Linda Toy, this year’s event organizer. “I have observed smiles and laughter during these events,” Toy added. “It is really quite special.”

Everyday Therapy

Throughout the semester, Concordia offers a variety of programs for students who need emotional support and guidance. One of these programs is the Everyday Therapy campaign, organized by Concordia Health Services.

The program is geared towards helping students with everyday personal struggles. The campaign hosts four therapy sessions throughout the semester to give students tips and suggestions for dealing with stress, personal relationships and confidence, throughout the fall and winter semesters.

According to Canada’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, one in five people will suffer from a mental illness or addiction at some point in their life. Two out of three of those individuals will suffer in silence.

“Concordia offers a [variety] of resources for students, and will discuss internal and community resources to help deal with mental health,” said Dale Robinson, a psychologist and manager at Concordia’s Counselling & Psychological Services, in an interview with The Concordian in February.


For students seeking assistance with stress or mental health, Jack.org, is also available.

Jack.org is a non-profit organization designed by students for students with mental illnesses or suffering from emotional hardships. Concordia has its own Jack.org chapter.

“Jack.org reaches out to students who need help, and we help guide them to different resources available in their area,” said Michael Dorado, a Jack.org representative.

“Most often times, students don’t know that counseling and psychological services exist at Concordia. Our role is to show students that [services] exist and are available to help them,” Dorado said.

Photo by Chloe Ranaldi.

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