Did you know that over 40 million Americans are living with a mental disorder?
Did you know that every day, over 100 people commit suicide in the U.S. alone?
Did you know that every day, over 3,000 unwanted dogs are killed in American shelters?
Healing Companions is working hard every day to make a change in the lives of dogs and humans alike by training rescue dogs and shelter dogs to become Psychiatric Service Dogs (PSDs) and matching them with people in need.
Finola Tracy & Baron
Imagine being so paralyzed by doubt, social anxiety, or memories of past traumas that you couldn’t leave the house or hold down a job. “My dogs have given me a life,” says Tracy of her services dogs, Finola and Baron. “They’ve given me the ability to go out… to cry, to laugh, feel emotions again.”
So many people have experienced trauma in their lives, as have so many rescue dogs and shelter dogs. Many times, they are forced to face the aftermath of that trauma alone. However, with the proper dog training, these people and dogs can come together to help each other in the healing process. This becomes a therapeutic experience for the animal and the human. Talk about man’s best friend!
Mindy and Ninna
And what about the story of Mindy and Ninna. Mindy was hospitalized “for a couple of days because [she] was suicidal.” She says that when she got out she knew she “was probably going to get a dog and that was totally keeping [her] going.” She says that Ninna is, “in some ways…like my shield from the world and in others she helps me to be in the world. She’s helps me to be grounded and she’s helped me to want to live.”
The positive impact these dogs have in the lives of their humans is beyond words. They help them to cope with their trauma and begin to heal, but it can be quite costly to train these dogs. Unlike mobility dogs and guide dogs, psychiatric service dogs (PSDs) require highly tailored training to help with the specific conditions of their human. To be able to continue changing dog and human lives, we are in constant need of funding. Please consider donating to our cause. You can make a difference in the lives or humans and dogs, a win-win.
Healing Companions is rated by GuideStar as a Platinum non-profit.
Watch our video: About Healing Companions
Training can help if your dog barks, lunges or otherwise acts unruly on leash when another dog walks by. Trainer Mikkel Becker is here to help. Reacting on leash is one of the most common problems people have with their dogs. You can help your dog move from chaotic to calm when passing other canines by reading this great article and watching the video on VetStreet.
Richie Gaiser, our newest board member, is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and a lover of all things canine. After adopting his pup Maggie several years ago, he has helped many of his friends train and properly care for their furry friends. With a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Management, Richie currently works for a local business in Charlotte, North Carolina, promoting and helping spread brand awareness, and has appeared on various morning news programs and websites. Richie can’t wait to help spread word of the great cause that Healing Companions is and those it helps.
Richie has already been an asset to our program as he has generously volunteered his time, knowledge and dedication to our program. He has been helping us understand and raise our profile on twitter, facebook and mailchimp analytics. We are excited he will continue to contribute to our program. Please open your hearts and give a warm welcome to Richie! We are honored to have him join us!
Biomed Central’s Blog has a very interesting article on the benefit of pets in the management of mental health conditions by Dr. Helen Brooks. She clarifies some of the findings in a collaborative project between researchers at the University of Manchester and the University of Southampton. She notes demonstrated benefits from pet ownership include reduced stress, improved physical health, increased social interaction and reduced loneliness. During difficult emotional periods people report losing relationships with friends and family as well as connections with valued activities which maybe difficult to reconnect with. Emphasis is often placed on the importance of family, friends and interaction with other people. This study looks at the benefits of pets for those with mental health issues.
Healing Companions clients are well aware of the benefits of a Psychiatric Service Dog. Click here to read the full article by Dr. Brooks.