Therapy dogs for individuals
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I am 18 years old and have been suffering from PTSD, severe panic attack disorder, clinical depression, and Ontario's worst diagnosed anxiety in the past 19 years.
Like many others, I suffer alone, and even though myself and many others are on the way to recovery, an extra hand is needed.
Mental illnesses can be debilitating to the point where we can't work. Whether it's as a student trying to graduate, launching a career, or even maintaining a part time job.
Children, teenagers, and adults who suffer with mental illnesses/disabilities, need more care than doctors or nurses, sometimes even family; because no one will understand them better than a furry friend. There isn't more comfort in the world than someone who doesn't judge you, who loves you, and wants to take care of you. A dog does just that, they don't care about your appearance, your ability to talk, they are there to be a best friend, they are there to be your light when the darkness becomes too much.
“No one wants to talk about how unrelenting it can be. How simple tasks can feel like climbing a mountain.”
“The guilt... for letting people down, for being such a burden and annoyance, for not being productive… the list is never-ending and overwhelming. The guilt is a constant for me.”
“You never hear about the fact that there isn’t a break. People who have mental illness and their loved ones are always in one of two states: either working through a low point or trying to arrange their lives to minimize the trauma of the next impending one.”
"No one seems to talk about just how expensive treatment can be. Treatment is being recommended in the media, I’m told help is out there, but it’s taking a lot of energy to find — energy I don’t have.”
“Mental illness is more than depression or anxiety. It can mean loss of social networks, loss of income and loss of respect from your peers. Most of all, it means not being sure of what you can accomplish.”
I truly believe that there will be more success in others' lives including my own if we are able to have certified therapy dogs to help individuals suffering along with their families.
I need help to get help. Let's make a change. Please share and support this petition.
Helps people overcome speech disorders: People with dysarthria lack muscle coordination in speech movement. Therapy dogs can help with this by increasing the attention span and improving coordination.
Anxiety relief: Therapy dogs can help patients suffering from disorders such as anxiety, severe disruptive behavioural disorder, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), and ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder). Studies have shown that when we touch dogs, it has a healing power because hormones like dopamine and beta-endorphin are released.
Encourage communication: Dogs have a wonderful way of connecting with people by putting them at ease. Dogs can sense human vocalization and gestures. It’s been shown that people who have difficulty communicating often find it easier to do so with a dog, due to their ability to listen but not respond or criticize.
Help with autistic children: Dogs give something to talk about between autistic children and their parents. They provide a non-judgemental medium to communicate and have a common area of interest while also allowing them to benefit from the aforementioned ability to encourage communication.
Physiological benefits: Therapy dogs can reduce blood pressure and help the patient relax in a more comfortable setting. A dog’s sense of touch can automatically send a positive receptor, such as a warm sensation between the human and animal. This is a rewarding way to calm the patient who may suffer from anxiety.
Helps around household: Therapy dogs are certified trained to retrieve medication for the patient, answer the doorbell, and to respond quickly to a smoke detector if the patient is unresponsive. These dogs are called animal- assisted therapy trained dogs
Promotes socializing: A study by Harvard shows that dogs are not only good companions themselves, they can also help create human-to-human friendships and social support, both of which are good for long-term health. People with dogs are 60% more likely to meet new people!
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