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Lucia, a therapy dog from Intermountain Therapy Animals, interacting with attendees of the April 10 Relaxation Fair. (Joshua Wineholt / The Signpost)

Weber State University held a relaxation fair on April 10 in the Shepherd Union building. It was a collaborative effort between several WSU departments.

Tamara Robinette, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist for the Counseling and Psychological Services Center for ten years, has also been the Outreach Coordinator for a year.

Robinette explained that the focus for the fair was to offer activities that could help students learn about methods of relaxation and stress relief, while also informing students of the resources offered by different departments at WSU that support students through student fees.

“In today’s fair, we offered students the experiences of coloring, stress balls, therapy animals, rock painting, outdoor activities, herbal tea, music and meditation,” said Robinette. “We hope students learn how to use these ideas in their personal life as a lifestyle of self-care that focuses on reducing stress and anxiety.”

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Stress balls, shaped like dumbells, handed out by Weber State Campus Recreation as part of the April 10 Relaxation Fair. (Joshua Wineholt / The Signpost)

According to Robinette, an estimated 200 students participated in the relaxation fair.

Michael Maez, a WSU nursing student who attended the relaxation fair, explained the positive experience he had at the fair and how he would want to see more events similar to the relaxation fair on campus more often.

“I was able to look at the therapy dogs and it was amazing to see the work that they do,” said Maez. “I think therapy dogs are a major role with helping people heal, and I feel more relaxed.”

Cindy Yorgason has been with Intermountain Therapy Animals for more than four years alongside her dog, Axel.

Yorgason began voluteeering with Intermountain Therapy Animals as a way to “pay it forward” after she survived cancer.

“This time of year, when students are getting closer to finals, you can definitely see them relax when they interact with therapy dogs,” said Yorgason.

Being sensitive to students’ allergies to dogs was important to the handlers.

“We are careful whenever we have the therapy animals on campus. There are some students who have allergies and so we try to keep the dogs in their area,” said Robinette. “We know that some students are afraid of dogs and so we post signs to alert students before they enter the Union that the therapy dogs are present.”

Beth Nabrotzky, a WSU student majoring in health promotion and an intern for the Counseling Center, explained some of the things she does to relieve stress and explained the significance of informing students of activities that they could do from home to relieve stress.

“I am a student. I am stressed with exams coming up, but the way I relieve stress is listening to music or attending the yoga classes offered on campus, I also like to color or write in a journal,” said Nabrotzky.

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An attendee of the Relaxation Fair joins two staff members in a coloring activity. This picture was filled in little-by-little throughout the day by various attendees. (Joshua Wineholt / The Signpost)
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