CSU School of Social Work explores human-animal interactions for health and mental health

In 2020, Colorado State University’s School of Social Work will provide grant funding to four pilot projects, to support interdisciplinary team research focused on building the science related to human-animal interaction (HAI) to better understand the impacts of HAI on both human health and mental health.

The pilot research grants were awarded through the School of Social Work and the School’s Human Animal-Bond in Colorado (HABIC) center. Following a vigorous peer review process, the four studies which received pilot grants include:

Weekly peer group discussion sessions as an intervention strategy for coping with euthanasia-related stress in dairy workers

Primary Investigator: Lily Edwards-Callaway, Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Sciences

Experiential Learning to Advance Human-Animal Health and Mental Health among Homeless Individuals and their Animal Companions

Primary Investigator: Paula Yuma, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work

Piloting an Enhanced Protocol to Evaluate Occupational Therapy in an Equine Environment for Youth with Autism

Primary Investigator: Susan Hepburn, Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies

Human-Animal Interactions as Protective Factors for Older Adults Moving Into Senior Housing: A Prospective Longitudinal Study

Primary Investigator: Gloria Luong, Assistant Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies

About Human-Animal Bond in Colorado

Founded in 1993, Human-Animal Bond in Colorado (HABIC) is a center in the School of Social Work. HABIC’S mission is to improve the quality of life for people of all ages through the therapeutic use of companion animals, with particular focus in the areas of community outreach, teaching, and research.

About the School of Social Work

Since the first baccalaureate social work major was first offered in 1968, Colorado State University’s School of Social Work, part of the College of Health and Human Sciences, has made a continuous effort to develop and maintain a program that is responsive to the standards of the social work profession, to the needs of human services agencies and clients in the state, and to the land-grant mission and goals of CSU. Our mission is to provide exemplary education, applied research, and transformative outreach to advance social, environmental, and economic justice; promote equity and equality; alleviate oppression; and enhance human health and well-being across local and global community systems.

The School of Social Work is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.