Therapy dogs from Mayhew visited staff at Audible, Buzzfeed and Channel 4 this month to help relive stress for staff.
Over the past month, dogs enrolled in Mayhew’s visiting animal therapy programme ‘ThreaPaws’ paid the special visits as part of a corporate stress prevention drive inspired by World Mental Health Day and National Stress Awareness Week.
Staff at each organisation were invited to join in 90-minute drop in session at each of their offices, hosted by up to four Mayhew TheraPaws dogs and their volunteer owners.
Attendees had the opportunity to play with, stroke, cuddle and watch the dogs, activities which are all believed to lower general stress and anxiety levels and boost mood.
Interacting with animals is widely considered to be beneficial for humans’ mental health, with multiple psychologists agreeing that dogs offer a similar kind of emotional support as people’s family, friends and loved ones.
It is understood that spending even a short amount of time with a dog can improve social, cognitive and emotional functions, and offers a pleasant and positive distraction away from a specific stress of worry.
In a busy and high-powered environment such as the workplace, animal therapy can therefore provide an invaluable place of support for employees who might feel stressed or worried, and who are unable to express these feelings amongst colleagues for any reason.
Research has suggested that after taking time out of a busy day to play with or stroke an animal, employees of any industry are likely to feel better equipped to deal with any ongoing challenge, and often communicate better with colleagues.
Mayhew found this to be the case at Buzzfeed UK, where one worker commented: “I feel so calm compared to this morning. This dog is so chilled out, she makes me feel chilled out too. I’m at stress level zero right now.”
Attendees at Audilble and Channel 4 expressed similar sentiments, with one participant saying: “I’ve been so stressed and unwell lately, and just the thought of seeing dogs today really cheered me up. Actually, being here with them is amazing.”
Mayhew’s TheraPaws dogs are usually engaged in attending day care and residential homes, hospitals and hospices across London; and specialise in visits to elderly patients with dementia and palliative care units.
Mayhew said: “We are proud to play our part in boosting the general wellbeing and productivity of corporate teams such as Audible, Buzzfeed and Channel 4 as well as making a real difference to those with debilitating conditions, and in return for a donation to Mayhew, our volunteers and their dogs are available to help staff all over London de-stress during a 90-minute drop-in session.”
If you are interested in organising a corporate TheraPaws visit in London, you can email Duschanca Singh at Duschanca@mayhewanimalwelfare.org for more information.