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#BellLetsTalk #EndTheStigma Pets and humans with mental health

January 27th Bell Let’s Talk takes place. This is a wide-reaching, multi-year program designed to break the silence around mental illness and support mental health all across Canada.

We animal lovers know how good it feels when we in interact with pets, when we cuddle with our furry kids, specially on those rainy days we all have. Research has shown that this positive effect can also be applied in a therapeutic setting.

How is that? Well, by leveraging the power of pets as a  vital tool in the treatment for medical conditions associated with mental health.



Pet therapy is defined as a guided interaction between a specially trained animal and an individual or group, facilitated by the animal’s handler. Pet therapy interactions are used to help improve patients’ mental, social, emotional, and physical functions. Therapy can take place in a wide range of settings including hospitals, care homes, and treatment centres and can involve different activities such as walking, looking after, and grooming the therapy animal.

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A wide range of mental health conditions are now treated through pet-therapy programs. The interactions with animals are considered to offer benefits to patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, challenging psychiatric disorders and depression among others.  Vulnerable prison inmates have also benefitted from animal-therapy programs.  Petting an animal is believed to cause the release of endorphins (feel-good neurotransmitters) which can have an extremely positive impact in patients dealing with depressive disorders.

Therapy animals have also been successfully used within treatment programs for individuals with substance abuse issues. The presence of an animal can in itself help calm the patient down and prepare them to face their demons.


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Therapy Dogs can help lower blood pressure, alleviate anxiety, improve mood, and even teach children to read!

xo, Tail-Waggers


27 Jan 2016
By Evelyn
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About the Author: Evelyn

Currently owned by two bouncy boxers. Passionate about dogs, social media, weddings, blogging, digital marketing, twitter parties and hot yoga. Find her at where she helps businesses with their online needs.

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