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From pets to 'recess': High schools stress relief

3:07 PM, Jan 31, 2013   |    comments
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BELFAST, Maine (AP) - Stress, anxiety and panic attacks are on the rise at many U.S. high schools, due to heightened academic expectations and troubles at home made worse by the shaky economy.

So some schools are trying unconventional methods to help students cope. Those methods range from homework-free nights to therapy dogs roaming school hallways.

In Maine, at least two high schools -- Camden Hills Regional High School and Belfast Area High School -- have converted classrooms into "wellness rooms" staffed by volunteer professionals who offer massage therapy and other stress-reducing treatments for students, with parental permission.

Some parents say tragedies such as the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., worsen the stress. Jane Robertson, a chiropractor in Belfast, says her 16-year-old son came home from school expressing worry that a similar incident could happen at his school.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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