Therapy Dog provides Canine Comfort at Trundle Central School
Therapy Dog Benefits for Schools
Animal assisted therapy can provide a range of benefits which can assist both students and teachers in many ways including:
- Reducing anxiety and stress
- Providing non-judgemental support
- Increasing school attendance rates
- Increasing willingness to share emotive information
- Increasing the feeling of wellbeing in the school community
How Ajax Will Assist Trundle Central School
Mr John Southon, Principal of Trundle Central School and Ajax’s primary carer, said Ajax will become a member of the school’s pastoral care program.
“We hope Ajax will assist in the transition of at-risk students into school by providing an emotional constant for them,” Mr Southon said.
The school also hopes Ajax will assist students to attend and engage in appointments and counselling sessions.
“Many of our students find the stress associated with counselling sessions overwhelming, and their natural responses are anger or avoidance. Ajax will be able to offer the students a level of comfort and support that only a dog can provide,” Mr Southon said.
Like every other staff member at the school, Ajax will have timetabled classes and activities, and will even have his own editorial column in the school’s newsletter.
“Ajax’s column will provide students with a piece of advice each week about coping with mental health issues and anxiety, and other topics such as family break-ups. This will be a fun way of conveying to students a very personal but important message in a non-confrontational manner,” Mr Southon said.
The Pets As Therapy (PAT) Program
The Pets As Therapy Program is a community service which has been offered by Guide Dogs NSW/ACT for over 30 years. The program places carefully selected dogs with people who may be disadvantaged due to age, illness, disability or isolation and who may benefit from the companionship that is provided by a loving dog.
To find our more about the PAT Program, visit the PAT Program Page: https://www.guidedogs.com.au/guide-dogs/pets-as-therapy