Animals in Service for Mental Health - Perspective

Charlene Sunkel
Publication date: 
15 April 2017

Animals in service for mental health had been known to be used in various capacities and for the achievement of specific outcomes, such as the improvement of social, emotional, and cognitive functioning; reduction in anxiety levels; amongst other therapeutic values. The Paws for People (Pet-Assisted Visitation Volunteer Services, or PAWS) organisation based in the United States, listed a range of benefits of animal therapy in mental health, and include: lifts spirits and lessens depression; decreases feelings of isolation and alienation; encourages communication; provides comfort; increases socialization and sense of community; reduces boredom; decreases anxiety; helps children overcome speech and emotional disorders; creates motivation for the client to recover faster and reduces loneliness [1].