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Mental Health Llamas Calm the Dramas

Berkley University students cuddling up with therapy llamas to ease pre-exam stress shows us there is plentiful ways to wellness...

Stress and education tend to come hand-in-hand, especially around exam time when the pressure to get good grades, study hard and “be the best you can be” is turned up to eleven.

There are lots of de-stressing methods out there, some you may see and even do everyday and some a little more unconventional.

Getting cosy with a Llama may very well fit into this category, but that doesn’t deter students from the University of Berkley in the US, reports the Guardian.

In the lead up to the exam season herds of students from the prestigious Uni congregated on its Memorial Glade to take part in a llama/human get together, fuzzily called a “Llamapalooza.”

The purpose? For the llamas was to eat as much grass as any llama could, for the students it was to take the opportunity to forget about the woes of work and buddy up with, pet, feed and photograph the furry relaxants.

The event, which takes place every semester and has reportedly left students feeling “significantly less stressed”, was organised by business major Ana Claire Mancia, who claimed: “when you are around a llama, you become very calm and at peace.”

Our time as a student can be a very isolating experience, and the anxiety and stress that comes from intense study can quickly get on top of us. As this is potentially the case for a high percentage of students globally it can be beneficial to introduce more *non-chemical wellness techniques to improve our mental health.

(*we are not pill-shaming here, responsible use of prescribed medication such as anti-depressants can most certainly be helpful. Rather we are saying natural methods can be more accessible and easier to mentally digest.)

Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is a well known and popular thing. The US Department of Health and Human Services, the Centres of Disease Control and Prevention and the National Health Centre for Health Statistics reported back in 2011 that 60 per cent of the hospices that offer complimentary alternative therapies use pet therapy.

UK-based ATT providers, Critterish Allsorts have a 4+ legged brigade full of “thera-cute-ic” critters to help; from snakes, rabbits, hedgehogs, dogs and skunks to ferrets lizards and even a spider.

This, along with the re-llama-xation (sorry, that was awful) sessions at Berkley, goes to show the vast amount of methods there are to explore, that could help us feel better. Furry focused or otherwise.

As an example, Book of Beasties explores a multitude of different approaches to mental wellness and possible techniques, exercises and topics of discussion. Like music, creativity, yoga, healthy eating, exercise, games and more.

There is not a one-size fits all approach to mental health, wellness and mindfulness - so there shouldn’t be a singular approach to the education of it.

Just ask the llamas.

Don’t forget, we are offering *schools the chance to receive a free copy of Book of Beasties: The Mental Wellness Card Game, the Beastie Guide (and lesson plans) PLUS a short training session with its creators.

(*dependent on location)

If you would like to take advantage of this, contact us via our website or send us a message with your name, school, location and job title to

Image from Pixabay.


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