Thursday, June 05, 2008

Psychiatric Service Dogs












Did you know that Service Animals work with children and adults who experience psychiatric and neuropsychological issues?

Psychiatric Service Dogs can enhance the life of many. Children and adults with ADHD, Autism, Asperger's, Anxiety, Agoraphobia, Depression, Epilepsy, Phobia, Social Anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress, Tourette's, and the list goes on. There are many things a Psychiatric Service Dog can provide, like - - Need a reminder to take your medication? A Service Dog can aid in the task. Afraid to take the elevator - the Dog can help to push the elevator button and accompany you while you conquer your fear. Having a Panic Attack or Seizure as the picture above shows? The Service Dog will guard and protect you and bark for help. So many things...


Here's a great link to read more about it.

And remember, if you see a Service Dog, ask the owner if he/she is "working". Dogs can be pet and played with only when they are on a break!

31 comments:

Clueless said...

It is absolutely amazing to me how much they can learn and assist others to be as independent as possible. I love labs and German Shepards!!! Thanks for warming my heart. After this week, this was really comforting.

heiresschild said...

i'm not really a dog person, but it is good that they're able to be of service as well as humans.

Clare said...

It's amazing what they use dogs for these days to assist and help people.

We have an award here that is given out at Crufts each year called "Friends for life" and it honours someone whose life has been made a real difference by having a dog.

Hope all is well with you Deb.

Wanda's Wings said...

It is amazing that these dogs are able to help in this way.

MYSTI said...

Wow , i had no idea that dogs were also used for Psychiatric Service;s. Doesn't surprise me though. Dogs have great empathy and are so loyal as well as great listeners.

Thank you for sharing.

Mary said...

I think it is fantastic, that dogs are used this way. Dogs are so smart, and I have 2 and they know when I am down, and won't leave my side...Mary

Ian Lidster said...

I think Service Dogs are magnificent, but I had no idea they could be used in the psychiatric realm. Intriguing.

OHN said...

I have read a few stories about service dogs actually sensing when a person was about to seize and gently nudging them to the ground PRIOR to the actual seizure to minimize injury to the patient.

Personally I am a huge animal lover and am one of the crackpots that thinks that my dogs can actually understand me :) (because the CAN-lol).

Shaheen Lakhan said...

Thanks for submitting this post to our blog carnival. We just published the eight edition of Drugs and Pharmacology and your article was featured!

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Shaheennult

April said...

My dogs are formally registered or trained but they are definitely part of my therapy! :)

April said...

sorry, my dogs aren't formally registered or trained...

Stray said...

My boxer dog attended psychotherapy with me from being a puppy til she was nearly two. I had quite bad DID (now recovered) and my journey home had plenty of opportunities for me to get into trouble, but I never used to split when my dog was with me, so she was my safe escort home. They're bloody amazing.

Tiptoe said...

Good post. Dogs are incredibly amazing, and we humans ask a lot of them--moreso than many other domestic animals.

I've worked with training service dogs, and a lot of work goes into it.

I really like the fact that psychiatric service dogs are becoming more recognized, but there is one drawback. Unfortunately, I have seen people who try to say their dogs are service dogs when they are not. It's a minority, but it does happen.

One other point about proper etiquette besides asking first whether the dog is "working" is not to inquire about the individual's disability. This is especially true when the disability is "invisible" as is the case with many psychiatric/dog handler teams.

Service Dog Census Project said...

Thanks for getting the word out about psychiatric service dogs! They can be such a real help to people if only more knew about what they're capable of. Thank you!

Marc

Johnathon said...

Great Idea!

On Call 24/7 said...

Thanks for sharing this. I am still amaze as to how many people only think of guide and hearing dogs as service animals. Let alone all the different disabilities that one needs a service animal for whether visible or invisible.

That is why when people come up to me and want to know about my service dog I tell them about service animals in general and usuallly give out flyers for people to learn more. Not only about dogs but cats, mini horses and monkeys too.

Rose said...

I love animals they are so smart. Wow this is something new. I have heard of seeing eye dogs but this just goes to show that dogs can be trained to do anything.

jumpinginpuddles said...

amazing as amazing as guide dogs, even more amazing is those who train them

CrackerLilo said...

I'm not a dog person either, but I can see their capacity to help. I know my cats can help me *lots*.

By the way, as much as you love optical illusions, this made me think of you. Hope you haven't gotten it a zillion times already!

Anonymous said...

Service dogs rock! It's amazing what they can do and how much help they can be :)

Donna

~Deb said...

How do I get one? I totally need a dog to help me with my anxiety and phobias - elevators being one of them! :)

This is amazing. Animals are so therapeutic... I just wish I didn't have such horrible allergies to them.

Casdok said...

These dogs come into my sons school and are fantastic and can make such a difference.

Marj aka Thriver said...

This is very cool. I knew a woman who used a service dog to help her with her DID.

Marie said...

What a cool idea!

Mary said...

Hi Deb: My 2 dogs havent left my side, I have been having a real hard time lately, and its just getting worse. Mary

about jenji said...

A friend of mine and her dog volunteer for Therapy Dog at the local cancer hospital. He's an English Setter and I swear he's actually a person in a dog suit.

He's so gentle and you can actually see him thinking, if that makes any sense.
The patients love his company.

I can totally see how this could work as a psychiatric therapy. Now, wouldn't that piss off the pharmaceutical companies?


neat post.

jenji

Anonymous said...

***************
Hey Blogpals,

Sorry I haven't been by to visit here and personally respond to each of you, as I usually do. Blogger seems to be malfunctioning for me. So, as soon as I can fix the problem, I will be visiting and commenting. Till then, Blog on.

~Deb
AKA Dr. Deb

Kahless said...

Dogs are such wonderful and special creatures. I love my dogs very very much.

On Call 24/7 said...

Tiffany, I am sorry that you had to go through all this with the VA and your service dogs. This unfortunately is not an unusual case. There are several individuals with their various types of service dogs that are being discriminated against due to their service dogs. Doesn't seem to matter what tasks these dogs perform the results seems to all be the same. That's why in the ADA Restoration (2009) it is being clarified about what a service animal is. This will include with no room of interpretation for those of us with invisible disabilities.

The biggest issues with the general public is that they do not comprehend that some service dogs are in deed trained to remind a person to take pills. They are also trained to if need be balance, counter-balance or when somebody freezes trained to step on a person's foot which makes the person unfreeze. (less technical term). lol.

Personally I do hate when people ask what tasks my dogs do for me especially if it's to gain access to a place. Reason I hate it so much is because the fact when telling them these tasks it also then tells them my disabilities, which actually is a round about way around the law of (medical privacy act). However this year the DOJ with their question and answer section it's basically taken out. It is basically back off the dockets. Though they do not clarify well enough about invisible disability as they should. I am thinking that after the ADA restoration which is now up for public comments til Aug., that they will intern change the definition wording.

Again sorry that you and your husband had to go through all this.

Deb said...

Dear Tiffany,

Sadly, I have read that this goes on in many places. Locally, a deaf boy was denied access to his school because he had a "dog". It was a service dog which the school refused to acknowledge. I think contacting the ADA and the Deaprtment of Justice could help. Here's the link to file a complaint:

http://www.ada.gov/t2cmpfrm.htm

Good luck and kick butt!!!


Dear On Call,
And thanks On Call for adding your comments to Tiffany's dilemma.

Awake In Rochester said...

I has crossed my mind that being around a dog might help the depression, but I live in an apartment. My teddy bear just isn't doing the trick these days. ;o)