Story by Lucia Martínez ~ Martin knows by heart what it’s like to suffer from a mental illness himself. He’s experienced the challenging symptoms, and has dealt with the great stigma of living with an illness such as bipolar disorder, as well as the one that comes with being convicted of a crime. In prison, a person has to learn on his own how to cope with these exhausting issues, especially when one has had a lot of time on one’s hands, which can lead to increasing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
By being part of the dog training process, Martin has not only proven to be proficient in managing and working with the shelter dogs, but has also perceived the calming and beneficial effects of sharing with the dogs, and has become more capable in controlling those anxiety/panic attacks that are common in people with bipolar disorder. While at the same time, helping someone in need.
Listen to Martin’s touching words on his healing experience training shelter dogs for the future and overcoming the symptoms of his own mental illness while imprisoned:
We are happy to claim this a win-win-win situation, for the shelter dog, the person the dog is being trained to assist and clearly the individuals who participate in the program who value it highly and derive a ton of personal benefit. And that’s why we love what we do!