Law society op-paw-sing stress with pup therapy

Newcastle University’s Law School and Eldon Society recently joined forces for the second annual ‘Health and Wellbeing Week’ to raise awareness about stress and mental health amongst students.

The week consisted of a number of different health and de-stressing sessions, as well as free herbal tea and fresh fruit in the Law School common room on offer to students, as they prepare for the run up to the exam period.

The schedule began on Monday 11th April with stress-free smoothie making. The session, a new addition to the week, gave students the opportunity to take a break from their start-of-the-week blues.

On Tuesday, the Eldon Society hired a professional masseuse to come in and give free massages to stressed out students and relieve any inner tensions.

Wednesday afternoon saw the return of the most popular event of the week, ‘De-stress with Dogs’. Students were invited into the Law School common room to cuddle and pet two border collies and a westie.

The Law School’s second annual ‘Mental Health Myth Busting’ event took place on the Thursday, with an informal panel for students to learn more about mental health. The week concluded on Friday 15th April with a yoga session.

With attendance reportedly up from last year, Eldon Society President Chris Duddy was quick to herald the week a success: “last year was the first time it was run so we built on the success of last year.”

All events were well attended, but Duddy admitted the dogs were by far the most popular attraction. “It was amazing the effect that they had. The Law School is usually very quiet around this time but the effect the dogs had on everybody was ridiculous.

“I’ve never heard the common room so loud and full of laughter,” explains Duddy. “It sounds silly but you can see how beneficial it was.”

The week was organised by Eldon Society Welfare and Equality Officer Abi Marshall, with support from the University’s Law School and Students’ Union. Marshall was keen to thank everyone for their help, including the Law School’s Welfare Officer, Dr. Christine Beuermann.

“We’ve had so much support from the Students’ Union and the Law School so that’s definitely helped having that backing and also having Christine there.” Marshall continued, “In fact, the Law School promised to match whatever sponsorship we got for the Wellbeing Week, so it’s been a proper joint initiative, we couldn’t really ask for much more.”

The Eldon Society recently announced its Officers for next year and Marshall is optimistic that the event will continue to grow year on year. “The hope is that this stuff will continue. I’ve had a meeting with next year’s Welfare Officer and she’s got some really good ideas so we’re hopeful that it will grow and get better next year.”

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