Leading By Example
Mental Health Today Conference November 2005
Dog's As therapy
Mind Conference , March 2006
VONNE, SURF ID 1072
Trash The Ash?? Report
‘Our Future – Doing it for Ourselves’
Service Users Interviewing Staff
Mental Health North East
Experiencing Mental Health Problems
Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy
Lanchester Road Hospital Briefing July 2006
One Person- Many Perspectives
Smoking Policy For Mental Health Trusts
Letter To All Service Users Who Use Chester-le-Street CMHT
Meeting of the Smokefree Trust Project Group
Contact Information for Service Users Reaching Forward
Links for Service Users Reaching Forward
Do you believe all mental health facilities should be non-smoking?
Dog's As Therapy
The charity Pets as Therapy have conclusively proved that dogs are good for you. Here dog owners visit patients in hospital, old people’s homes and hospices allowing their dogs to be stroked, tickled behind the ears and fussed over all in order to cheer the patients up. As they say even the most depressed might smile when a PAT’s dog returns to visit a ward. I visited the County Hospital with my dog Humphrey shortly after being discharged and it was noticeable just how many patients stroked and hugged him.
This is one way man’s best friend acts as a hero to people who are unwell. A pet for life is obviously better for you long term than for a short visit. All dog owners feel that their dog brings warmth, fun, friendship and support. It is also a known fact that people who live with dogs are generally healthier than those who don’t due to the exercise they need.
Take my dog Humphrey, a collie cross, which I rescued, as an example. Today I couldn’t live without him. He is very supportive, often lying at my feet and when I’m depressed he pushes his nose into my chest trying to look after me! I walk him four miles plus everyday and he is the excuse to go out. Before I had a dog I didn’t get out as much as I do now but now we are greeted as friends not only by neighbours but by villagers and passers by alike. All admiring my four legged friend who laps up the attention with apparent ease and the odd dog biscuit!
Naturally there are low moments with a dog. With Humphrey the first of my problems came early on. I used to prefer keeping my dog downstairs at night. But he had other ideas….. No Humphrey this is not Colditz …he ate the door! Since then he has had the run of the house often sleeping on the floor beneath my bed. He used to be nervous about being left alone but he has improved tremendously but still checks I’m all right at 3.00am in the morning proving that he is an affectionate and caring animal who will show his love towards me even at unwanted hours of the morning. Today Humphrey’s big problem is socialization with other dogs he wants to play and gets very frustrated when it gets out of hand. The same is true with big or even the smallest dog up on two feet and a crescendo of barking …….
For a medium dog it costs just over £18 a month to look after Humphrey excluding insurance. For those battling against mental illness a pet dog is a valuable tool to defeat the illness. I would recommend this to anyone just because the support and friendship a dog can give. Come on Humphrey lets go down to the river! Wag! Wag!