Animals help students during stressful midterms on campus

The DMC Counseling Center is using animals to help students de-stress during midterms and finals.

The PAWSitively Prevent Midterm Meltdown event includes activities such as letting students interact with dogs, anxiety screenings, Play-Doh aromatherapy and the opportunity to speak to counselors.

“I don’t think anyone understands just how stress relieving the pet therapy is,” said Del Mar student Robert Araujo. “I’d rather see a therapy dog on my way to a midterm rather than a group of students who look just as scared as me.”

The event will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 19 on East Campus in the Harvin Center, Conference Room 1, and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 20 on West Campus at the Coleman Center in the Student Hub.

According to Johanna Torres, licensed professional counselor for DMC, the Counseling Center also gives students access to the Zen Zone in their office, which offers aromatherapy and a massage chair, which is also free and open to students at any point in the semester.

Torres said that as midterms get closer, she and her colleagues are doing the best they can to prepare for the weeks to come. The number of students who attend counseling services seems to spike predominantly in these weeks.

“In 2015 the Counseling Center had a total of 264 counseling appointments. In 2017, the Counseling Center had a total of 1,253 counseling appointments,” Torres said.

Torres stressed to students that it is never too late to set up an appointment. DMC counseling services are free and available at any time in the semester, not just in the weeks of midterms and finals.

For more information about the events or to schedule an appointment with one of the counselors, contact Torres at or visit their offices in Room 233A of the Harvin Center.

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