Linda Thompson: Westfield State University works to address mental health (Viewpoint) –

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Westfield State University has a variety of programs to help address students’ mental health concerns. "Pet therapy is used to help students ease their anxiety, relax and recharge with furry friends in a hands-on, unique way,” according to president Linda Thompson. "The popular program, shown in this 2017 file photo, started in 2007 as a novelty during finals week, and it quickly grew to sessions held twice a month during the academic year."
The lyrics to the carol “Silver Bells,” famously sung by Bing Crosby, paint a happy picture of the holiday season: “Children laughing, people passing, meeting smile after smile.” While this rings true, what should be acknowledged is that it can also be a stressful time of year for many individuals, especially young adults.
In kindergarten-through-12th grade schools and on college and university campuses across the country, our children and young adults are stressed and run down for myriad reasons. The effect these challenges have had on their mental health is, to quote the U.S. surgeon general Dr. Vivek Murthy, “devastating.”
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