Doggy pilot program has furry friends helping students with mental health
Some very good (and furry) boys and girls are getting ready to join the workforce.
Laval Junior Academy’s Faculty Service Dog Program was inaugurated on Monday, a pilot project that will see canines train as service animals to help people with mental health conditions.
The program is a joint venture between the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board and the Asista Foundation.
At the ceremony were some special guests, including three-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog Wally. Wally was trained at Laval Junior Academy and has been helping student Samantha Tardif deal with her anxiety.
“I had no clue how to go through it, I had major anxiety attacks where I didn’t want to go to school and my mom had no choice but to keep me,” she said.
Wally has been a big help.
“Last week I had an anxiety attack. I walked out of class, I gave my teacher a heads up because she might have chased me. I went to come and see Wally and he jumped straight on me. Depending on my anxiety levels he jumps on me or leans his head on me,” said Tardif.