Pet Therapy Comes to Georgia Tech

     Health Initiatives is dedicated to the pursuit of cultivating a culture of harmony and happiness at Georgia Tech. This pursuit led to “man’s best friend” coming to Georgia Tech in the shape of pet therapy through Happy Tails. Happy Tails is a team of volunteers who provide physical, social, and emotional therapy to people of all ages. The entire Georgia Tech community is invited to participate in these “therapy sessions” that will take place throughout campus for the remainder of the semester. 

     This program was created after numerous research studies showed that pets have the ability to improve mental health and lower anxiety. According to a study conducted by UCLA, the simple act of petting animals releases an automatic relaxation response. Petting animals promoted the release of serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin- all hormones that can play a part in elevating moods. Additionally, this can play a part in your physical health as well. Pet therapy has been shown to lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health as well as slow down breathing patterns for those who are experiencing anxiety. These lovable creatures offer a sense of friendship, comfort, confidence, and reliability, which can lead to fewer feelings of loneliness.

      Pet therapy includes a guided interaction between a person and a trained animal. You may have previously seen pets on campus during finals week. However, since Georgia Tech students and employees experience stress and anxiety all year round, Health Initiatives is offering this program to you on a bi-weekly basis. “Pet therapy is a fun way to release stress in a social and care free environment,” said, Health Educator, Jocelyn Resnick, MPH. Resnick manages Happy Tails for all of Georgia Tech and would like to expand to additional locations. If you are interested in bringing this to your building on campus contact Jocelyn.resnick@health.gatech.edu and RSVP on our facebook page so you don’t miss your chance to de-stress with Happy Tails.

     For a complete list of locations and more information about the program, visit - http://healthinitiatives.gatech.edu/pet-therapy

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For More Information Contact

Christine Lemaster

Health & Well-Being 

Communications Officer II