Mental Health Awareness Week 2021: Students benefit from puppy power

Hitchin Boys' School's head Fergal Moane with one of the eight week old puppies that visited the school this week

Hitchin Boys' School's head Fergal Moane with one of the eight week old puppies that visited the school this week - Credit: Hitchin Boys' School

A Hitchin school has welcomed some furry friends for Mental Health Awareness Week 2021.

Bearing the theme 'Back to Nature', Hitchin Boys' School took to the environment and Mother Nature as inspiration on how to take care of their mental health both this week and in every day life.

As well as building a living wall and using a small area of woodland that Hitchin Boys' has access to, the school also thought about the important role pets can play in helping with our mental health.

A Hitchin Boys' School student with an eight week old puppy, which were brought in for Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

A Hitchin Boys' School student with an eight week old puppy, which were brought in for Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 - Credit: Hitchin Boys' School

And that's where the dogs come in! A bundle of eight week old puppies paid a visit to the school this week, providing a welcome distraction from the turbulence of pandemic life an some well-needed joy.

"It is proven that interacting with animals has a positive effect on mental health in humans," Hitchin Boys' student support worker April Rogers, who organised the puppy visit, said.

A Hitchin Boys' School student with an eight week old puppy, which were brought in for Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

A Hitchin Boys' School student with an eight week old puppy, which were brought in for Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 - Credit: Hitchin Boys' School


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"Spending time sharing some fun or just quiet time with a pet - or a group of puppy visitors - is known to help with anxiety and reducing stress levels. So, when the opportunity arose to have a small litter of eight-week-old puppies in school, we jumped at the chance!"

Across two lunchtimes, students from all year groups - and staff - had the chance to meet the puppies, who brought some much needed therapy, laughter and excitement to the school day.

Hitchin Boys' School staff and students pose with eight week old puppies for Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

Hitchin Boys' School staff and students pose with eight week old puppies that visited the school for Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 - Credit: Hitchin Boys' School

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The school has also put on other activities to commemorate the week, including Japanese-inspired Hapa Zome painting, den building, painting stones and building a camp fire.

Hitchin Boys' School have hosted for Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 include Japanese-inspired Hapa Zome painting

Other activities Hitchin Boys' School have hosted for Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 include Japanese-inspired Hapa Zome painting - Credit: Hitchin Boys' School


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