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“Student groups serve as resources for mental health”

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This March 24, 2015 article on the Daily Pennsylvanian talks about ways that students are grappling with the question of how to make a long-lasting difference in how mental health is viewed, discussed and treated on campus.

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Money Monday

 

I love to learn new things, and have wanted to take a class or two, but because of transportation issues, I haven’t been able to.  My Peer Specialist was aware of this desire of mine, and pointed me to a site that offers free online college courses.  Taking the courses is for personal growth and I think some, but maybe not all may offer a certificate to show you completed the course.  The classes are from Universities such as Johns Hopkins and Michigan State University.  There is nothing at all to buy, and right now they are offering about 100 courses to pick from.

The website is called Coursera and can be found at http://coursera.org

I’m taking my first course through the site called “Internet History, technology and security”  The course is taught by way of video lectures I watch using my web browser (I have 3 different browsers, and found that for some reason, Google Chrome offers the best video feed.  Internet Explorer comes in second with some distortion in the video, and Mozilla Firefox oddly will play the audio fine for me, but the video freezes a few seconds into the lecture, so I recommend using Google Chrome, for pc users, which is also free and found at …. https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/browser/

This site as the professor for the class I’m taking put it, is for people who want to gain knowledge or information, and not so much for people looking for college credits.

The length of each course varies, but I think the shortest I saw was about 5 or 6 weeks for the shorter classes, while the longer ones seemed to run about 7 to 9 weeks.

The class I’m taking has questions during the lecture I can answer, several quizzes, a mid-term which is peer assessed and I believe a final exam.  I had to write an essay with between 200 and 400 words based on the material covered to that point. minimum requirement to pass the course is a 76% based on quizzes, mid-term and final for the class I’m taking, but I’m guessing that each course may have some variation to what is considered passing, much like what I saw when I attended a semester at a community college, the grading is similar, but there might be slight differences in what the professor is looking for I guess is one way to explain it.

If you want to learn something new, check it out, you can drop out at any time, and like I said there is absolutely no cost for taking the courses.

 

“Pet Tales: Therapy dogs a hit at Pitt”

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This article found on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette site on April 21, 2012 talks about one of the many ways dogs are trained to help others.  The dogs in this article are Therapy Dogs not to be confused with a Psychiatric Service Dog.  A therapy dog is typically trained to act sort of like Wal-mart greeters in a wide variety of places such as waiting rooms, hospitals, nursing homes, or as this article indicates even on college campuses like Pitt.   A Psychiatric Service dog, like mine is trained to work with a specific disabled individual meeting that individual’s needs.  the big difference though is that a therapy dog is not allowed the same level of public access as a Psychiatric service dog,  the Therapy dog needs to get permission to be in places in many cases, where a psychiatric service dog is covered by the ADA the same way as a guide dog for a visually impaired person would be.  Therapy dogs still have an important job, and I’ve heard of situations where service dogs sometimes go into a partial retirement and will work as therapy dogs, therapy dogs are awesome, and do help many people, their training just isn’t as specialized as a service dog’s training, though there are similarities in what they do.  Therapy dogs typically are there to bring hope and smiles to the faces of many while a service dog’s purpose is to help an individual.   If you aren’t sure if a dog is a Therapy dog or a service dog, ask the handler they will be able to tell you if it is a service dog, therapy dog or a pet.

 

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