An emerging trend throughout the assistance to mental health recovery is seen in the form of animal-assisted (or pet) therapy – where animals are used to interact and help humans who are struggling with numerous mental health conditions such as anxiety and depressions. It has been proven that this method can help motivate them to get exercise or have something to wake up in the morning for. We have created this blog to help outline the main benefits received from pets in relation to mental health recovery:
- Pets keep you active
It is a known fact that regular exercise helps to release natural hormones in your brain that makes you feel better when you are down. Therefore, having pets can help assist in keeping your active and consequently increasing your overall mood. Older adults who own a dog have a lower body mass index and as a result, makes fewer visits to the doctors.
- Pets ensure that you are more social
Many of us have those days where we don’t want to see or talk to anyone – but whether we like it or not we are social animals in nature – it is important for our personal mental health that we come in contact with other people and converse. Having a pet can help increase the chances of this due to taking your pet our outdoor trips or to visit family and friends. This can be a good way to help tackle issues such as anxiety and depression.
- Tackling loneliness
Loneliness is a widespread issue throughout the world, with more and more people with a mental health diagnosis suffering from this every day. Getting yourself a pet can give you a meaningful companion to fill your day with joy. They don’t only keep you company; they also give you a daily routine to carry out and keep you busy throughout the week – adding to your overall quality of life.
- Pets assist in reducing stress
If you are looking to control stress and anger levels, then getting a pet can be exactly what you need. Different levels of university research have shown that people who own pets are less likely to react to stress in a negative way and recover from the effects of stress much faster than those people who do not own a pet.
- Managing long-term mental health issues
As mentioned throughout this blog, animals can help manage long-term mental health issues. Whether it be through the points stated previously, or just generally creating a distracting from life and a mass amount of encouragement for the few moments where you are struggling.
We treat every resident at our Northern Healthcare facilities with a bespoke pathway relevant to them and we are firm believers that animal-encounters can help boost our resident’s mood. We use a number of different diverse recovery methods throughout our services which help to improve the overall life and wellbeing of our residents.
For more information on how you can make a clinical referral today, then please contact one of our team today or visit our ‘make a referral’ page to request more information: www.northernhealthcare.org.uk/referrals