Pets can be life-changing for people living with severe mental illness

Press/Media: Research

Release date: 13/12/2016

Description

Article in the Huffington about EQUIP Research: 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/pets-mental-illness_us_584ed2cbe4b0bd9c3dfdac7a

 

Living with mental illness can be lonely. More than half of people with serious psychiatric conditions say they feel isolated, struggling with an impaired ability to make friends, a lack of opportunities to socialize, and a stigma against mental illness.

Through the ups and downs of life with a mental health condition, pets offer a powerful form of connection and support. Many people living with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder say that owning pets, more than anything else, has helped them to manage their condition, according to new research

The study participants spoke in emotional terms about their relationships with dogs, cats, birds, guinea pigs and other animal companions. 

“When I’m feeling really low they are wonderful because they won’t leave my side for two days,” one participant, an owner of two dogs and two cats, said of his pets. “I will get up and I will let them out to the toilet and I will feed them, but I am straight back in bed ... and then they’ll just come straight back up and just stay with me until I’m ready to come out of it.”

Media coverage

TitlePets can be life-changing for people living with severe mental illness
Degree of recognitionInternational
Media name/outletHuffington Post Online
Media typeWeb
Duration/Length/SizeHuffington Post
Date13/12/16
Producer/AuthorCarolyn Gregoire
URLwww.huffingtonpost.com/entry/pets-mental-illness_us_584ed2cbe4b0bd9c3dfdac7a
PersonsHelen Brooks, Kelly Rushton, Anne Rogers, Karina Lovell