Julia Ross, a junior strategic and corporate communications major, is greeted by her emotional support cat, Minerva, each time she returns to her dorm room. Minerva is not a cuddly cat, Ross said, but her presence and “sassy” personality disrupts Ross’ “cycle of stress” that she sometimes falls into.
Photo by Laura Claypool
I have been a spokesperson for CU’s emotional support animal program for the past two years. I believe in keeping the conversation about mental health advocacy in people’s minds and media feeds. Mental illness affects so many and changes as small as a furry friend can make all the difference for those struggling with increasingly common issues like anxiety and depression.
“Julia Ross, a junior strategic and corporate communications major, adopted her emotional support cat, Minerva, after struggling to cope with stress freshman year, which added to her anxiety disorder. Since adopting Minerva, Ross has stopped taking her anxiety medication. Like Stauber, Ross benefits from the added responsibility. Caring for Minerva every day is a rewarding experience, she said.The Panther
“One of my biggest issues is feeling like I’m not getting enough done. But at the end of the day, I can look at her and think, ‘Wow, I’ve kept this thing alive. She cares about me, and we’re bros.’ That’s all my work,” Ross said. “It’s really interesting that adding responsibility makes me feel better.”