My name is Mya Nichols, I am 30-years old and right now I am struggling to overcome some obstacles in my life. For this reason, I am humbly asking for your help in obtaining a service dog. Below, you will find some more information about me, my condition, and service dogs. If you are able to donate, share this page, or even just spread mental health awareness I would be incredibly grateful.
While I have always been "quirky", my differences actually run a lot deeper than that. I have been clinically diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Tourettes Syndrome, Depression, and various anxiety and panic disorders. Some of these conditions have been evident in my life for a while, but with therapy and medication, I remained relatively stable. In the last few years, my physical health has also begun to decline. I am dealing with a bleeding disorder causing severe anima. To treat the symptoms of this I receive regular IV infusions that help me maintain my hemoglobulin levels.
By late 2016 however, it was clear to both myself and my doctor that I was going to need some more support. I was referred to the Anxiety Treatment and Research Centre (ATRC) at St. Joesph's Hospital. As my treatment started at the ATRC I saw new doctors and started new therapies. They discovered that the medications I was on to stabilize my mental health were contributing to my blood loss. Therefore, the decision was made that I must come off of all my medications and would be taken off work until a solution could be found and both my physical and mental health stabilized.
This is where we sit today, nearly a year later. I continue to attend therapy, see my psychiatrist regularly, get my infusions, and attend doctor's appointments to treat and resolve my physical health issues. I am still unable to work or be medicated. While I am so grateful for these therapies, none of them have been fully effective. This gap between the treatment I need and the treatment I am able to tolerate has greatly impacted my quality of life. Because of these factors, myself along with my professional and personal support teams believe a service dog is the right step forward for me.
This highly trained dog will be a powerful and effective resource in managing and coping with my conditions. Service Dogs can provide assistance to their handlers in many ways. Some of the tasks we will be training will be: medical alert, providing Deep Pressure Therapy, and giving mobility and balance assistance due to my low hemoglobulin. For more information on Psychiatric Service Dogs (including possible task list) please visit:
Unfortunately, there are no funded programs for psychiatric service dogs accepting applications from civilians in Canada at this time. The training and related expenses for a privately trained dog are high. It has taken many hours of research, e-mails, and phone calls but I have found a trainer who is able to provide the training and ongoing support for a dog and I to become a successful service dog team. As my financial resources are limited, I am requesting the support of my friends and family. Donations in any amount would be greatly appreciated. I am hopeful that with your help I can take the next step to taking control of my illness. Thank you.
- Witley Nichols
- Maxime Berkhout
- Mowitdon Candy
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