Capstone Group Organizes Stress Relief Session with Dogs

Prior to students taking their winter exams, they had to the opportunity to relieve stress through the help of some furry friends.

The Senior Capstone group of Jillian Baker, Lydia Metallinos, Aryana Sutton and Josie Weitz worked with 4 Paws for Ability to bring service dogs to CJ on Friday, December 15. The seniors came up with this idea after honing in on their Capstone topic focused on mental health.

“I feel that mental health disorders, especially stress and anxiety, are extremely prevalent among high schoolers, but rarely talked about,” Baker said. “I wanted to help bring up this discussion, to let people know that having any of these issues is completely okay, and that there are ways to cope and people who are there to help you.”

On top of bringing the service dogs to CJ, the group had also worked throughout the school year so far with counselor Amy Theodor to deliver homeroom presentations to all students about mental health.

“I hope students realize that they always have someone willing to talk to them and that it is okay to have a mental health illness,” Weitz shared. “I want them to be able to know there are things that truly lessen the symptoms of anxiety or depression, such as seeing the puppies or breathing techniques to calm yourself down.”

Later on in the school year, the group plans to make bulletin boards near the guidance office about mental health awareness.

When reflecting on their project so far, Baker said, “I have learned that so many different people can be affected by stress and anxiety throughout their daily life. I also learned that there are many ways that you can combat these diseases, such as eating healthier, exercising, breathing methods, and coloring.”

Weitz agreed, “I've realized that there are a lot of things that can cause stress and anxiety but the best thing you can do is be prepared for it. Staying away from procrastination and getting things done early is a quick and easy fix to lesson stressors.”

Posted December 27, 2017