Residents at Helena’s House welcome Amber, the pet therapy dog | Animal assisted mental health recovery

Residents at Helena’s House enjoyed some quality time with Amber, a qualified pet therapy dog this week. Research indicates that therapy dogs provide comfort in moments of distress, and help to rebuild self-esteem. Evidence also suggests that petting or stroking a dog can have a beneficial effect on your blood pressure and stress levels.

Amber is an excellent ice breaker during group therapy sessions. She lifts the spirits of everyone at Helena’s House and promotes social inclusion. We look forward to welcoming her back.

How can pet-assisted therapy help residents?

Pet-assisted activities promote social interaction and help to break down barriers, emotionally and in a social context.

Studies have found that interactions with animals trigger the release of endorphins, which gives a comforting effect and increases the level of serotonin, a chemical linked with happiness and well-being.

Some mental health challenges and psychiatric disorders are known to respond well to therapy dogs. People diagnosed with a range of issues, such as depression, bipolar disorder, autism, ADHD, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) benefit from their interaction with therapy pets.

Read more about animal assisted mental health recovery here.

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