Peterborough pupils to get mental health support from therapy dog.

Pupils at a Peterborough school will get mental health and well being support from a new therapy dog.

Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 9:49 am
Luna, the Therapy Dog
Luna, the Therapy Dog

Nene Park Academy have introduced Luna to the class to support wellbeing amongst youngsters and staff.

A recent UK survey found that over 20% of children reported having persistent stress every day or most days. It was also found by Young Minds, that the coronavirus pandemic had worsened the condition of around 80% of young people with a history of mental health needs.

Therapy dogs have been growing in popularity and numerous research studies have shown the benefits they possess within a school environment. Evidence suggests that the addition of a therapy dog in classrooms can reduce stress and provide a sense of connection in difficult situations.

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Dogs can provide stability and comfort to children who are going through challenging periods and offer an enriching experience to help manage and deal with their mental health.

Robin Grover, Principal at Nene Park Academy, said: “We are very excited to welcome Luna to our school community. After such a challenging year, it has been important for us to focus our attention on ways we can further support our students’ mental health and wellbeing.

“Our students’ mental health is important and we believe it is vital for us to take a lead on reducing the number of young people struggling with anxiety and mental health difficulties. We hope Luna can have a really positive impact on our students’ wellbeing and as a result, on their education.

“We have worked closely with other schools within our Trust who have already successfully introduced therapy dogs, to ensure we can develop the best practice possible and cannot wait to see the difference she will make.”

Luna’s handler, Laura Oxley, is the leading specialist for the academy’s autism provision hub and will be training Luna to become a fully qualified Pet Therapy Dog to support all students in the academy.