Transcript: Paw-sitive Campus | Dec 14, 2018

Jeyan Jeganathan stands in the set of "The Agenda."

Jeyan is in his thirties, with short curly brown hair and a stubble. He wears gray trousers, a white shirt, a blue blazer and a blue and white striped tie.

On a screen behind him appears a picture of a dog in a red vest.

A caption reads "Ontario Hubs. Canine comfort on campus. Jeyan Jeganathan. @JeyanTVO."

Jeyan says OTTAWA'S CARLETON
UNIVERSITY IS GETTING A HELPING
HAND FROM FACULTY, AND A HELPING
PAW FROM DOGS TO HELP REDUCE
STRESS ON CAMPUS.
THE UNIVERSITY LAUNCHED A DOG
THERAPY PROGRAM THIS FALL, WHICH
IT CALLS THE FIRST OF ITS KIND
IN CANADA.
THE PROGRAM SEPARATES ITSELF
FROM OTHER DOG THERAPY PROGRAMS
BECAUSE OF THE STAFF BEHIND IT.

A clip rolls.

(music plays)

Allie pets her black Labrador in a red vest called Murphy.

Allie is in her mid-twenties, with long, slightly wavy light brown hair and wears a black uniform with long shaft boots.

Jeyan says THIS IS MURPHY.
HE AND HIS OWNER ALLIE DAVIDSON
ARE ONE OF THE NEWEST MEMBERS OF
CARLETON UNIVERSITY'S THERAPY
DOG PROGRAM IN OTTAWA.
IT'S NOT THE MOST LABOUR
INTENSIVE WORK.
BUT MEANINGFUL, ESPECIALLY HERE
AT THE UNIVERSITY.
MURPHY IS ONE OF SEVEN DOGS AND
SEVEN HANDLERS WHO ARE WORKING
TOGETHER TO REDUCE STRESS ON
CAMPUS.

Shannon is in her thirties, with straight brown hair in a bob cut and wears a black uniform with white stripes.

Shannon says WE HAVE SOMEONE IN
THE SCIENCE CENTRE AND WE HAVE
SOMEONE IN PSYCHOLOGY, SO IT'S
ACTUALLY GIVING MORE ACCESS TO
STUDENTS IN DIFFERENT AREAS OF
CAMPUS.

Jeyan says THE PROGRAM IS RUN BY
SHANNON NOONAN AND HER DOG BLUE.
PROBABLY THE MOST RECOGNIZABLE
FOUR-LEGGED FRIEND ON CAMPUS.

Shannon says HE'S LIKE A ZEN
CREATURE.

Jeyan says BLUE WAS CARLETON
UNIVERSITY'S FIRST THERAPY DOG
AND HAS BEEN WORKING WITH
STUDENTS ON CAMPUS FOR OVER A
YEAR AS PART OF A PILOT PROJECT.
THIS PAST FALL CARLETON EXPANDED
ITS PROJECT BEYOND BLUE AND
LAUNCHED A CAMPUS-WIDE STUDENT
MENTAL HEALTH INITIATIVE.

A caption reads "Shannon Noonan. Carlton University Therapy Dogs."

Shannon says THE UNIQUENESS IS
THAT IT'S THE STAFF BEHIND THE
DOGS, SO THAT THERE IS A
KNOWLEDGEABLE STAFF MEMBER WHO
KNOWS CARLETON, WHO CAN, YOU
KNOW, SUPPORT STUDENTS THROUGH
NAVIGATING RESOURCES OR EVEN
JUST SOME GENERAL SUPPORT
THROUGH CONVERSATION.

Jeyan says SIX OUT OF THE SEVEN
DOGS BELONG TO FACULTY AND
STAFF, AND OVER THE SUMMER
HANDLERS AND THEIR DOGS WENT
THROUGH SIX WEEKS OF TRAINING
AND A NUMBER OF EVALUATIONS TO
BE ABLE TO WEAR THE RED VEST.
DESPITE TRAINING, NOT ALL
CANINES ARE CUT OUT TO BE
THERAPY DOGS. IT ALL BOILS DOWN
TO THEIR TEMPERAMENT.

The caption changes to "Allie Davidson. Therapy dog handler."

Allie says DOES HE ACCEPT A HUG
FROM A STRANGER, WHICH IS
SOMETHING THAT SOME DOGS
DON'T FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH,
HAVING SOMEONE ON TOP OF THEM.
WE'RE BEING EVALUATED AS A
HANDLER AND DOG TEAM.
IT'S NOT JUST LOOKING AT THE DOG
OR NOT JUST LOOKING AT MY DOG
HANDLING SKILLS.
IT'S BOTH OF US TOGETHER.

The caption changes to "Philip Mansfield. Therapy dog handler."

Philip is in his late thirties, clean-shaven and with short wavy brown hair. He wears a black uniform with white stripes.

Philip says THE DOG TRAINING PART
WAS ONE ELEMENT THAT WE HAD, BUT
WE ALSO WENT ALONG TO A SORT OF
HALF-DAY MENTAL HEALTH TYPE
TRAINING AS WELL. AND SO IT
ALLOWED ME TO APPRECIATE THAT
A LITTLE BIT MORE.

Jeyan says WITH A TEAM OF SEVEN
THERAPY DOGS, THE PROGRAM CAN
MEET STUDENTS PRACTICALLY EVERY
DAY OF THE WEEK, ESPECIALLY
DURING MIDTERMS AND EXAMS.
FOR THE MOST PART, THE SESSIONS
ARE REGULAR AND POSTED WEEKS IN
ADVANCE.

Philip says THIS ISN'T A ONE-OFF
EVENT. THIS ISN'T SOMETHING THAT
IS GOING TO HAPPEN EVERY NOW AND
AGAIN, AND IT ALLOWS THE
STUDENTS TO EITHER FOLLOW US ON
INSTAGRAM OR FOLLOW THE WEBSITE
AND ACTUALLY SEE THAT THERE'S
REGULAR SESSIONS AND THEY DON'T
HAVE TO COME TO A ONE-OFF EVENT
WHERE IT MIGHT BE VERY BUSY, BUT
THEY CAN SEARCH OUT WHEN THE
TIMES ARE GOOD FOR THEM.

A young woman points at a computer screen and says I WAS ACTUALLY GOING TO SAY
BECAUSE THIS, EVEN AT MY...

The caption changes to "Reneé McCutcheon. Student."

Reneé is in her early twenties, with long straight brown hair in a side part and wears black rimmed glasses and a green V-neck sweater.

Renee says YOU HAVE STRESSES THAT
GO FROM LITTLE TO BIG, AND
EVERYDAY STRESSORS ADD UP.
THE FACT THAT WE DO HAVE THE
THERAPY DOGS HERE PRETTY MUCH
AVAILABLE EVERY SINGLE DAY OF
THE WEEK STUDENTS CAN COME AND
PET THEM TO GET AWAY FROM THOSE
STRESSORS.

Jeyan says THE BENEFITS OF PET
THERAPY HAVE BEEN WELL
DOCUMENTED. STUDIES SHOW THAT
ANIMAL-ASSISTED THERAPY CAN HELP
REDUCE ANXIETY AND STRESS.

The caption changes to "Luisa Infante. Student."

Luisa is in her mid-twenties, with short wavy brown hair and wears black rimmed glasses, a red T-shirt and a red and black checker jacket.

Luisa says WHEN I STARTED
UNIVERSITY HERE, IT WAS MORE
OR LESS LIKE A BAD COPING HABITS
LIKE EATING AND JUST, LIKE,
PLAYING VIDEO GAMES A LOT OR
SURFING ON THE INTERNET WHEN I
COULD BE TAKING CARE OF MY BODY
BETTER, AND MY BODY DID SUFFER
THE CONSEQUENCES OF THAT.
I DIDN'T FEEL GREAT DOING...
USING THOSE NEGATIVE COPING
HABITS.

A brown haired woman says MY DOG USED TO DO THAT, YEAH.

Jeyan says IT HAS ALSO BEEN A
PLACE TO MEET NEW PEOPLE ON
CAMPUS.

The caption changes to "Nathaniel Chan. Nathaniel is in his early twenties, with long wavy brown hair in a ponytail and wears a red hooded sweatshirt.

Nathaniel says THERE'S A
SURPRISINGLY GOOD COMMUNITY
ASPECT TO IT AS WELL.
I ENDED UP MEETING A FAIR NUMBER
OF MY FRIENDS THROUGH BLUE
BECAUSE, LIKE, WE'RE ALWAYS
GOING AT THE SAME TIME.

Jeyan says THE STAFF MEMBERS
INVOLVED IN THE PROGRAM WORK IN
A VARIETY OF DEPARTMENTS ACROSS
THE UNIVERSITY.
SOME DEALING DIRECTLY WITH
STUDENTS, LIKE PROFESSORS, AND
SOME INDIRECTLY, LIKE ALLIE.

Allie says I'VE ALWAYS KIND OF
FELT LIKE I'VE MISSED OUT A
LITTLE BIT. I SEE STUDENTS ON
CAMPUS. I'M INDIRECTLY CONNECTED
TO THEM BECAUSE I WORK WITH
INSTRUCTORS AND HELP THEM IN
DESIGNING THEIR ASSIGNMENTS, BUT
ULTIMATELY GO DOWN TO THE
STUDENTS, BUT THIS HAS BEEN A
WAY FOR ME TO BE ABLE TO
DIRECTLY CONNECT WITH STUDENTS
AND FEEL LIKE I'M GIVING BACK.

Jeyan says IN PAST SESSIONS
NOONAN HAS HAD VERY OPEN AND
PERSONAL CONVERSATIONS WITH
STUDENTS.

Shannon says I'VE HAD A STUDENT
COME IN WHO WAS VERY, VERY
DEPRESSED, TALKING ABOUT
THOUGHTS OF SUICIDE.
THEY TALKED ABOUT HOW THEY WERE
VERY ISOLATED AND LONELY AND
THEY WANTED TO MAYBE TALK TO
SOMEBODY ABOUT IT.
AND SO THEY DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO
GO THROUGH THOSE STEPS.
BUT THEY SHOWED UP THAT DAY TO
MY OFFICE OR BECAUSE THEY FOUND
THE DOG AND THEY SAID, OH,
THAT'S SOMETHING I COULD DO.
MAYBE THAT I'LL TRY.

Jeyan says NOONAN HOPES THE
PROGRAM REDUCES THE STIGMA OF
MENTAL HEALTH AND PROMOTES A
CONVERSATION ON CAMPUS.
THE PROGRAM IS FUNDED THROUGH
DONATIONS, AND SHE'S HOPING TO
GET ENOUGH MONEY TO CONTINUE
RUNNING NEXT YEAR.
NOONAN SAYS PET THERAPY OFFERS
LOW-LEVEL SUPPORT, A GAP HERE ON
CAMPUS.

Shannon says WE NEED TO HAVE A
LOT MORE LOW-LEVEL RESOURCES IN
PLACE IN ORDER TO FILTER PEOPLE
UP APPROPRIATELY AND NOT
EVERYBODY NEEDS TO SEE A
COUNSELLOR. IT'S NOT JUST THE
DOGS. IT'S NOT THE DOGS ARE THE
MAGIC PILL OR THAT THEY ARE THE
SOLUTION TO MENTAL HEALTH
STRUGGLES ON CAMPUS, BUT THEY
ARE A PART OF A LARGER PICTURE,
AND THE MORE LOW-LEVEL SUPPORTS
THAT WE CAN PUT OUT THAT ARE
DRAWING PEOPLE IN TO STUFF LIKE
THAT, THAT'S WHEN YOU'RE GOING
TO HAVE THOSE MOMENTS AND BE
ABLE TO, YOU KNOW, PICK THEM
OUT, LIKE LITERALLY PULL THEM
OUT OF THE RIVER AND BE LIKE,
HEY, AND GET THEM THE HELP
THAT THEY NEED.

(music plays)

The end credits roll.

Ontario Hubs Field Producer, Jeyan Jeganathan. @JeyanTVO.

Editor, David Erwin.

A slate appears with the caption "Ontario Hubs are made possible by: The Barry and Laurie Green Family Charitable Trust and Goldie Feldman."

Watch: Paw-sitive Campus