Stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns are common amongst university students. Interactions with animals are now being recognised by the scientific community as being beneficial to well-being and as a source of support for mental health issues. An increase number of tertiary establishments around the globe are introducing Animal-Assisted Activities (AAAs) as a way of increasing student supports. However, few of these programs involve structured and goal oriented one-on-one interactions facilitated by a mental health professional, so they are not considered to be Animal-Assisted Interventions (AAIs).

The aim of the UQ Student Services Canine Co-Counselling program is to trial a true Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) program, to determine if this type of program is a viable form of therapeutic intervention that could provide students with improved social, emotional and/or cognitive functioning. Students who may benefit from this program are those experiencing anxiety, depression, stress, grief, social isolation, those who are on the autism spectrum or who have experienced trauma, and more. 

Submit a self-referral on StudentHub 

You will be contacted regarding suitability and how to make an appointment, after submitting the self-referral form.

  • Self-referral process

    You will be asked the following questions

    1. Do you have any of the following which would preclude you from working with a dog?

    1. Dog fear/phobia

    2. Allergy or skin/respiratory sensitivity

    3. Immune-compromised or other medical condition of concern

    2. Are you prepared to come into contact with the therapy dog, their hair, and their saliva?

    3. Are you willing to participate in this research, with the understanding that any data collected will be de-identified and confidential, and that the results of the research may be professionally presented and/or published?

    4. Why do you want to participate in this program?

    Submit a self-referral on StudentHub