Pets as part of long term treatment for serious mental illness

-

Could a dog help in the treatment of people with serious mental illness? A study shows that pets are particularly helpful during long term treatment. So much so, that researchers believe they should be incorporated into care plans for people with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Researchers interviewed 54 people with serious mental illnesses to see how they self-managed in their everyday lives. The results were published in the journal BMC Psychiatry. Twenty five of those interviewed included their pets as a key part of their “social network,” which includes social workers and close family members.

The lead author of the study reported that “"many felt deep emotional connections with their pet that weren't available from friends and family." Having a mental illness can be very isolating -and the experience of mental illness can be difficult to communicate. Pets don’t judge and they provide routine and keep patients connected to the outside world.  Some patients credited their pets with preventing them from following through on suicidal thinking, because they know that their animals depend on them. 

Therapy animals are becoming more widely used-- but they’re still expensive and not everyone has access. The study brings attention to the how important pets can be in the long term treatment of mental illness- and concludes that they should be a main source of support from mental health services.

For people coping with the pain of mental illness, animals can offer serious help.

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

WATCH FOX 7 NEWS LIVE

FOX 7 News streams at the following times (all times Central):


Monday - Friday

4:30 a.m. - 10 a.m.

12 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.

5 p.m. - 6 p.m.

9 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.

Saturday

6 a.m. - 8 a.m.

6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

9 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Sunday

6 a.m. - 8 a.m.

5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

9 p.m. to 10 p.m.



Schedule subject to change in the event of network sports coverage.

We also stream press conferences and other breaking news coverage from time to time. When we are not in a live newscast, you will see replays of the most recent broadcast.

To enter full screen Mode click the button.

For closed captioning, click on the button while in full screen mode.

Desktop/tablet users: To choose the stream's video quality, click on the button (while in full screen mode) and choose from 432p or 270p.

Mobile users:The video quality default is to your phone's settings.

Please allow time for buffering. If the stream stalls, refresh your browser. Thanks for watching

Stories You May Be Interested In - Includes Advertiser Stories