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Psychiatric Assistance Dogs and Recovery Support

Psychiatric Assistance Dogs and Recovery Support

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), approximately 4.8 million Australians (around 20% of the population) experienced a mental or behavioural condition in 2020.

This includes a broad range of psychosocial disorders, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), borderline personality disorder (BPD), and others.

Psychiatric Assistance Dogs have proven to be beneficial for individuals suffering from various psychosocial disorders, aiding in their recovery process.

Within the NDIS, a significant number of participants have a primary psychosocial disability. As of the latest available data, approximately 64,000 NDIS participants (as of September 2021) have identified a primary psychosocial disability, a further 10% have a secondary diagnosis. This highlights the importance of adequate support and services for individuals with mental health conditions.

Psychiatric assistance dogs play a crucial role in supporting individuals with psychosocial disorders.

Psychiatric assistance dog with ndis participant woman with tattoos
Providers mostly train Labradors and Golden Retrievers as assistance dogs because of their intelligence and temperament

12 examples of how a psychiatric assistance dog can help sufferers of psychosocial disorders

Depression: Dogs can provide emotional support, reduce loneliness, and encourage physical activity.
Anxiety: Assistance dogs can help alleviate anxiety symptoms, provide a sense of security, and assist in calming techniques.
Bipolar disorder: Dogs can help individuals during depressive or manic episodes, providing emotional stability and routine.
Schizophrenia: Psychiatric assistance dogs can assist with reality monitoring, interrupting distressing hallucinations, and providing grounding support.

PTSD: Dogs can offer comfort, aid in managing anxiety and panic attacks, and provide a sense of safety and trust.

NDIS Participant with a dog in recovery from PTSD

OCD: Assistance dogs can help interrupt compulsive behaviours, reduce anxiety, and provide a source of companionship.
BPD: Dogs can provide emotional support, help regulate emotions, and promote a sense of stability.
Eating disorders: Psychiatric assistance dogs can help reduce feelings of isolation and offer emotional support during challenging times.
Autism spectrum disorder: Dogs can assist in managing sensory overload, promote social interactions, and improve emotional regulation.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): Assistance dogs can improve focus, provide structure, and assist with impulse control.
Substance abuse disorders: Dogs can offer emotional support during recovery, provide routine and companionship, and help with relapse prevention.
Sleep disorders: Psychiatric assistance dogs can aid in sleep routines, provide comfort during nightmares, and promote a sense of safety.

What access rights do Handlers of Certified Psychiatric Assistance Dogs have?

According to the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992, all Assistance dog owners have the right to access all public places, including buses and trains, with their animals. These rights ensure that individuals with disabilities, including psychosocial disabilities, can participate fully in society without discrimination.

Where can I get help to support me in caring for and maintaining my Assistance dog?

PetCloud can provide valuable, low-risk, person-centered supports for NDIS Pet Owners in line with NDIS Participant’s goals through:

Community, Social and Recreation (low intensity, level 1 support) further facilitating the well-being of individuals with psychosocial disabilities.

Community, Social and Recreation and petcloud and ndis

Assistance with Home Tasks & Hygiene (Pet-related)

assistance with household tasks and ndis pet care, petcloud

Ancillary Pet Care during hospital treatment & recovery

ancillary pet care, petcloud
You’ll get daily photo updates, and they can visit you outside the hospital with approval.

There are fantastic Support Coordinators who are able to assist NDIS Participants in coordinating bookings for you, which reduces stress and anxiety if you have a full inbox, and a full schedule of attending medical appointments.

Where can I get a Psychiatric Assistance Dog?

You can try Assistance Dogs Australia — or call 1800 688 364

MindDog in NSW

Who can help me train my own dog to become a psychiatric assistance dog?

Positive Response Assistance Dogs (PRAD) 07 3459 2121 assists those who are wanting to certify their own dog as an assistance dog to help with psychiatric disabilities including: PTSD; Anxiety & Depression

Note: The information provided in this article is based on the available data and general knowledge. For specific details and individual circumstances, it is advised to consult official sources and relevant organisations.

For a free quote or call back, contact PetCloud today

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