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01.12.17 | OnCourse, ICHM News

Stress buster

ICHM continually looks for ways to support students, including helping them to de-stress during exams.

It’s the reason behind Lily’s visits to campus, which have proven an overwhelming success.

And she thoroughly enjoys the job, according to her owner Director Academic Dr George Brown.

‘Evidence worldwide points to students feeling significantly less stress after meeting, cuddling and playing with a dog.

‘Lily has been trained as a companion and a few minutes with her can have a calming influence, helping take minds off a pending exam or general workload.’ 

Dr Brown says the initiative has been especially helpful for ICHM students as they are all living away from home, many for the first time, and may be missing their family pet.

Lecturer Kerstin Oelckers says that Lily was brilliant.

‘She put the students so at ease. When I have exams, I am on high alert to anticipate anything that could go wrong. When Lily greeted me on Wednesday morning all that intensity was gone in an instant—that really surprised me about myself and I shared that story at home.’

And students were all smiles, saying:

Lily has been a complete joy and I feel less stressed before going in for the exams. Seeing her and interacting with her got me to calm down and quiet my mind before going for the exam. I would love to see her in future exams (or any other occasion!) Thank you for the brilliant idea of having an exam dog, it's truly made a difference for me. 


‘It was such a great idea to have Lilly at the exams. It certainly took my mind off of the stress and anxiety of going in! Definitely need her there every exam/test.’


I really enjoyed seeing Lily, as she was something else to talk about other than the exam and a nice bit of relief before walking into an exam. She’s also very cute. 


‘Lily was very helpful in relieving the stress of exam fever today.’


‘I loved having Lily on campus for the exams! It really helped calm us all down.’ 


‘Lily really helps us to relax and make the mind stressless. I love to see her.’


‘Lily has been a great help in keeping me calm before exams!’


Dr Brown makes sure Lily has plenty of rest between ‘therapy’ sessions.