Therapy Dogs Comfort COD Students

Students were able to take the focus off finals and spend time with therapy dogs the week before finals week.

Devin Oommen, Staff Writer

As students all over campus made efforts to turn in final assignments, papers and projects all while preparing for final exams, College of DuPage hosted an event for students to de-stress. The event,on May 10, was part of COD’s Mental Health Matters Month. COD partnered with Fox Valley Therapy Dog Club to bring five therapy dogs in to spend time with the COD community.

Students signed up and waited in line for a chance to take their minds off school and pet the dogs.

Devin Chambers, a student success counselor at COD, said the objective of the event was to give students an opportunity to take their minds off the pressure of the end of the semester.

“This is a stressful time. You got finals coming up. You got final papers,” said Chambers.

The event also allowed anyone to sign up for mini-manicures from the Cosmetology students from COD’s campus in Addison or to take home a plant from the Horticulture Club. Throughout the event over 80 students signed up to participate in the activities offered. 

Mental Health Matters Month events included virtual reality meditation, mental health screenings, self-care games and sessions teaching students how to identify and reduce stress. The final event allowed students to do art therapy using clay and painting while being guided by a counselor.

COD students Zaina Ahmed and Afia Shameem said they were hanging out outside of Student Life and came to see what was going on.

Shameem said she appreciates that COD finds ways to de-stress.

“I think it was a very good way to cope with mental health. It was very comforting. I’m glad COD is doing stuff like this,” said Shameem. 

Ahmed was quick to agree.

“It was a good break from finals,” said Ahmed. 

Shameem and Ahmed have taken classes at COD since 2019. “I think College of DuPage really focuses on mental health,” said Shameem. “I really like that,” said Ahmed. 

Chambers encouraged students who are feeling stressed not to feel that they have to deal with it alone, and encouraged them to reach out to friends, family or to feel free to contact counselors at COD.

“Reach out to somebody. Even if it’s family. We have counseling that students can reach out to. We do screenings if the student wants to see us more regularly for mental health counseling.”

The dogs were brought from Fox Valley Therapy Dog Club.

The event was a collaboration between Community Relations, Counseling, Advising and Transfer Services, Student Life, Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Alter Ego Productions.