I recently posted an article on End The Stigma’s Facebook page titled “It’s Time to Take Pets Seriously as Mental Health Support,” and I asked some of our community members to post a picture of their pet and to write a little bit about how their pet helps them with their mental health. Here’s what some of them had to say:
Hollan: My dog Tucker literally gives me a reason to wake up every morning. Nothing would be worth it without him. He hurts when I hurt and he feels what I feel. He’s stopped me in the middle of injuring myself by laying on top of my arms. He is my full support system.
Debbie: This is Shasta the wonderdog. She is a rescue…but she saves me daily. She goes everywhere with me and follows both voice and hand commands with adoring pleasure. She sleeps with me and lets me know of anyones presence near me or my home. When I work outdoors as a gardener. She picks the highest spot and watches over me…..with her back to me and constantly scouting the area with her careful gaze. I have PTSD and social anxiety and she makes it bearable to go to my support groups….and that also benefits everyone else who meets her. She really is the best.
Kaitlin: These are my babies. They keep me strong. I got the torbie Ariel (the one in front) specifically as therapy cat. She is amazingly affectionate
Ann: Without my two beautiful boys, I wouldn’t know how to live. They are the world to me ❤
Letha: My char char Binks pup. She will come up when she senses I’m hurting and nuzzle me,make me pet her she snuggles me in bed every night and is just a great emotional support all around
Hannah: My dog, Shiloh does wonders for me. There’s nothing better than a happy dog greeting you at the door after a long night of class. I’m a student clinical mental health counselor and see a lot of value in the emotional support dogs can have for anyone. Whether it be snuggling next to you when you’re down or making you go outside because they want to play fetch. Dogs are invaluable in many ways ❤
Sam: My dog Bella is my support system, I have depression, anxiety, ASD, DID, OCD, suicidal tendencies and self harming behavior and if I’m having a rough day she never fails to make me smile.
Audrey: This is Tig. He meets me when I get home and keeps me company as I live alone. He curls up next to me as I do work or crafts reminding me I am not alone. I also have a chronic illness and knows when I don’t feel well. He curls up around my arm and relaxes me till we both sleep.
Lauren: Dexter is the best little buddy that I could ever ask for! He makes me laugh a lot, he keeps me company all the time, and he makes me so happy. Loving him and taking care of him is very beneficial for my mental health, and I don’t know what I’d do without him!