Pets as Family
Pets are a part of 65 % of American Households. People develop deep bonds with their pets. They are beloved members of the family.
This bond can be magnified when the owner has a disability such as Mental Illness.
Mental illness can cause isolation and high-stress levels wich can be mitigated, somewhat, by the love of a pet. Science has shown stress relieving chemical are released by stroking a pet. Having the love of a companion animal can help with loneliness.
Pets with Jobs
Some pets have moved beyond the passive role of just living in our homes. People with disabilities are finding help through animals. These animals are now being trained to perform jobs for disabled people. Including people with disabling Mental Illness.
Support animals can help people in several ways.
Emotional support animals use affection as a means to provide comfort and support.
Therapy Animals visit institutions to provide affection and comfort to the residents.
Service Animals are trained for an individual to help with tasks related to that person’s disability.
How to Help
There are many benefits to pet ownership for a person with mental illness. These relationships should be encouraged. The bond a person feels with their pets or service animals should be respected and acknowledged. Supporters of people with mental illness should work to help reduce financial barriers to people caring for their pets.
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