The Teesside University celebrated University Mental Health Day (March 9, 2023) by bestowing a honorary dogtorate to Brengle The Therapy Dog.
Brengle’s hugely positive impact in the campus deserved more than just a round of a-paws and the University recognized his efforts accordingly.
The University awarded Brengle the honorary dogtorate for his outstanding work in helping improve the students’ well-being through his regular visits.
The Golden Retriever has regular visits to the campus with his owner, Naomi Kelly, as part of the University’s faith and reflection service. He also provides support to students after their exams and those who suffer bereavement.
The University explains that Brengle’s friendly demeanor combined with his calm presence, “provides reassurance in difficult and stressful situations.”
And according to Kelly, they get a lot of very positive response from all the people Brengle has encountered.
“Over the time he’s been at Teesside University, there’s been so many students saying how their mental health has been boosted and how they’ve felt the love from him”, said Kelly.
Sarah Bishop, Assistant Director of the Student and Library Services at Teesside University, who presented Brengle his honorary dogtorate, said, “Often students are away from home for the first time, sometimes in a foreign country, and could be dealing with things like exam pressures, money issues or relationship breakdown. It is vital, therefore, that students know that the University is there to help them and can offer support.”
Bishop also acknowledges Brengle’s positive impact and said that he does a “fantastic job” by encouraging students and providing them with love and reassurance.
Furthermore, Bishop confesses that they’re delighted to bestow the special honor for the therapy dog, “He’s a worthy recipient” says Bishop.
University Mental Health Day, is organized by the UK’s student mental healthy charity, Students Mind, together with the University Mental Health Advisors Network (UMHAN).
It is celebrated yearly on the first Thursday of March, and aims to positively make mental health a university-wide priority.