Pets can help people manage serious mental illness, study finds

Press/Media: Research

Release date: 10/12/2016

Description

Article by ABC News Australia: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-10/pets-help-people-with-serious-mental-illness-manage-condition/8109368

There is significant evidence owning a pet has benefits for general wellbeing, but new research has found that pets can also play an important role in the daily management of long-term mental illness.

When people living with serious mental illness were asked what helped them manage their condition, many put their pets right near the top of the list.

In the study, published in BMC Psychiatry, 60 per cent of participants placed their pets in their central circle of support when given a diagram to illustrate their support network, and a further 20 per cent put their pet in the second circle.

 

Through interviews with the participants, researcher Helen Brooks of the University of Manchester and her colleagues found that pets helped people manage their feelings "through distraction from symptoms and upsetting experiences" and acted as "a form of encouragement for activity".

Media coverage

TitlePets can help people manage serious mental illness, study finds
Degree of recognitionInternational
Media name/outletABC New Australia
Duration/Length/SizeABC News Australia
Date10/12/16
Producer/AuthorEliza Buzacott-Speer
URLwww.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-10/pets-help-people-with-serious-mental-illness-manage-condition/8109368
PersonsHelen Brooks, Kelly Rushton, Anne Rogers, Karina Lovell