I am 26 years old and have been struggling with clinically diagnosed depression and anxiety and PTSD for along time. During this time, I have tried countless therapies and medications, including an out-of-province treatment centre, none of which have been as effective as I would have liked them to be. This has had an incredible negative impact my quality of life.
This summer, while in the above mentioned treatment centre, I learned about Psychiatric Service Animals and their ability to assist people who live with mental health issues such as mine, helping them live with a better quality of life.
Psychiatric Service Animals are trained to be a teammate in their partner's journey through mental illness. They are trained to help a person to feel more grounded in a stressful situation. They are trained to read their partner's body chemistry, and are thereby able to stop panic attacks before they happen. They provide security and companionship, increasing their partner's feeling of safety and reducing hypervigilence in crowded spaces. They can be trained to wake their partner up from a nightmare and turn on a light so the person can reorient to their physical environment. These are just a few of the specialty tasks that a service dog can provide. All of these tasks, and the many more that I have not listed, will be of incredible value for me in living with depression, anxiety and PTSD, and many of them can be of a life-saving nature.
I have experienced the support a service dog can offer and have seen others with similar struggles to mine who have a completely different quality of life thanks to their service dog. Over time as my new teammate and I develop a bond, my need for the numerous medications I have been prescribed over the years will be greatly reduced.
I know that having a service dog will mean that I will get questions everywhere I go. I hope to take this as an opportunity to educate others about service animals and to decrease the stigma of mental illness in our community. Having a Psychiatric Service Dog will allow me to move forward with my goals in life to help others who are marginalized or face struggles in our society. I will be more able as an advocate for myself and others.
Unfortunately at this time, there are no funded programs for service dogs for civilians in Canada and the training and related expenses are high. I need your help.
Donations in any amount would be greatly appreciated. My financial resources are very limited at this time. I have been off work for several months and am doing my best to find work in London.
Any other fundraising ideas and initiatives would be greatly appreciated.
If you have any questions about Psychiatric Service Animals, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'd love to discuss these benefits further with you.
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