Here are Helen Lumley's thoughts on - National Pet Day
This month is all about the pets! Those loveable creatures that share our homes, our food and, in my case, my bed. Pets bring their families unconditional love and joy and, in my case, a constant layer of dog hair. An increasing amount of research is pointing to the benefits of pets for people with mental health issues. Studies found that pets helped to manage emotions and offer a distraction from the symptoms of mental health condition. Pets provide unconditional love and help to ease feelings of worry, distress, and loneliness. They provide acceptance without judgement, giving unconditional support which people often cannot receive from other family or social relationships. Additionally, pets force people to stay connected with the outside world and engage in physical activity. Some pets, such as dogs, encourage social interaction and strengthen community ties. A 2016 study found;
• Pets contribute to a stronger sense of identity in pet owners with mental health conditions, including reducing negative perceptions of a mental health condition or diagnosis.
• Pets provide a sense of security and routine in the relationship, which reinforces stable cognition.
• Pets provide a distraction and disruption from distressing symptoms, such as hearing voices, suicidal thoughts, rumination, and facilitating routine and exercise for those who care for them. I’m not sure what I would do without my Sadie. It would be great to photos of your supportive pets. Happy Pet Month! Helen x