WHO WE ARE
Healing Companions, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to increasing awareness of and providing access to psychiatric service dogs (PSDs) as a form of treatment for mental illness.
WHAT WE DO
Our Mission is built on Three Pillars:
- Saving shelter dogs and training them to be PSDs
- Transforming the lives of those struggling with mental illness
- Providing basic dog training job skills for inmates
THE IMPACT OF JANE'S WORK IS ASTOUNDING
Imagine being so paralyzed by doubt, social anxiety, or memories of past traumas that you couldn’t hold down a job. A simple errand like going to the grocery store or the bank is a terrifying prospect. Relationships with family and loved ones are strained by your illness. You wish you could just turn it off, but you just can’t make the pain and fear go away.
For millions of people, this is the reality they live with every day. Mental illness can have a crippling effect on a person’s ability to live a happy, functional life.
Around 20 years ago, licensed psychotherapist and Healing Companions, Inc., founder Jane Miller began training psychiatric service dogs to help her clients struggling with severe mental illnesses that left them unable to function in society.
CLIENT SUCCESS STORIES
“Finola was trained to help me with my panic attacks. Without Finola I would be housebound. I presently am able to work full-time and have health benefits. I know longer depend on another person to go to the bank , grocery store and can enjoy going to restaurants, movies and so much more because Finola is by my side alerting me to my symptoms by pawing and nudging me when I am experiencing a panic attack, social anxiety and dissociating." ~Tracy
“Ninna helps me to be grounded. She reminds me that my pain is not the only thing that exists. In some ways she’s like my shield from the world and in others she helps me to be in the world. Ninna’s helped me want to live.” ~Amanda
“Rosie…the first time I met her, she leaned into me and I was like, ‘oh, this is my dog.’ I knew she was the dog I was supposed to have. Working with my therapist and working with her, I could actually understand myself better through Rosie.” ~Katie
OUR PSYCHIATRIC SERVICE DOGS
Many of our dogs were once unwanted puppies. We rescue them and train them to aid our clients as psychiatric service dogs. In this way, our dogs get a second chance at life just like our clients.
But it’s not just clients and dogs who benefit from what we do. Our training program has transformed the lives of inmates at Grafton Correctional Facility (GRC), giving them job skills and a chance to contribute to their community upon release.
“I finally found something I want to do, something I can do as a career.” - GRC Inmate
“To see how our work with the dogs can help others makes it worth every moment. It’s hard to sometimes see the dogs leave, but to know the effect they have on other’s lives is amazing!” – GRC Inmate
“For me...just rubbing the dogs, petting the dogs, really calms me down. The training with Healing Companions helps me personally which I really appreciate.” - GRC Inmate