Makati School Brought in Therapy Dogs for Students Pre-COVID—Now, They Offer Free Online Counseling

The hustle and bustle of daily life can get truly tiring and cause a lot of stress, no matter if you’re a fully-functioning working adult or a young, spirited student. Now throw into the mix a (surprise!) global pandemic that has turned everyone’s lives upside down, and what you have is a formula for mental fatigue and burnout.
It’s not always easy to cope with the daily demands of life, and if adults are struggling through this pandemic, let’s not forget that students are too. After all, they’re also going through a bunch of changes, starting with their education that now, all of a sudden, has to be conducted fully at home. And with no signs in sight of it going back to “normal” anytime soon.

iACADEMY Nexus scalediACADEMY campus

One Makati school has recognized this struggle that Filipino students are currently facing and, in turn, is doing everything they can to provide their students the support and guidance they need through these tough times. Since the beginning of the pandemic and school was shifted online, iACADEMY was quick to establish free online medical consultation and guidance counseling not just for their students, but for their staff as well.

Therapy Pets to Help Students Cope With Stress

iACADEMY, an Information and Communications Technology Institution in Makati, has always been progressive in its ways. This reflects in the institution’s award-winning programs and service, care, and support for their own. Even before the pandemic, iACADEMY has always taken the mental health of its students seriously. For the past couple of years, they had been regularly holding a uniquely adorable counseling program called TheraPETS—which, as you can tell by its name, involves furry, cuddly pets.

iACADEMY TheraPETS free online medical consultation  and guidance counselingiACADEMY TheraPETS program in 2019 | Image: iACADEMY

TheraPETS is iACADEMY’s animal-assisted guidance intervention for students. Pets are scientifically proven to help manage mental health, as they can be great sources of comfort, companionship, and inspiration. In its own special way, interacting with a pet can be a form of meditation and, much more, can also bring you joy. From time to time, some TheraPETS who come to visit iACADEMY are even up for adoption, so students in need of a loving furry friend have the chance to take them home. For the past several months in quarantine, TheraPETS went online. Last December, iACADEMY had a virtual Pet Show and Tell and a Responsible “Furenting” Seminar.

Free Online Medical Consultation and Guidance Counseling for Students and Employees

Aside from TheraPETS, here’s what’s truly impressive with iACADEMY’s commitment to serving their students—since classes transitioned to digital, iACADEMY established their Tawk.to program, which provides FREE online medical consultation and guidance counseling for their students and employees. Back when classes were being held on campus, students were always free to approach the school’s guidance counselor and their resident doctor. But now that classes are online, they wanted to make sure that care and support were still readily available for their students.

iACADEMY TheraPETS free online medical consultation  and guidance counseling

Anyone from iACADEMY may seek help from their team of guidance counselors and medical professionals. The Tawk.to service is easily accessible through the school’s website. In just a few clicks, both students and staff can talk directly to their clinic personnel and guidance team to get the help and support they need. And, best of all, it’s absolutely free.

Guidance ON COL

The guidance counselor’s job is to hold a safe space for students to voice out their issues and concerns about school and personal life. On-campus, the guidance counselor’s office is always open to welcome students who need advice, so iACADEMY made sure that this level of care still existed even while schooling is currently done online. This is why they created Guidance ON COL, which stands for Guidance Online Nook and Chill Out Link.

iACADEMY TheraPETS free online medical consultation  and guidance counseling

Under Guidance ON COL, the iACADEMY guidance team conducts a series of online activities that aim to provide emotional support to students and help alleviate some of the stress they may be experiencing. Through this program, students can come together to play games, experience free yoga sessions, have catch-up conversations with each other, or just watch relaxing videos or listen to music.

In a normal school setting, students would have their friends and peers to socialize with daily, which also provided some sort of support, helping them cope a little bit easier. Guidance ON COL aims to recreate this feeling of community, albeit online.

What do you think of iACADEMY’s amazing programs to support the health and well-being of their students and staff? Tell us what you think in the comments section below!

ALSO READ: This Innovative School’s SHS-to-College Program is so Seamless, You’ll Wonder Why Not All Schools Do It

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