This April through June, ‘What’s your balance?’ is shifting the focus to Mental Wellness. This month, we’re specifically talking about self-care through our 30 Day Self-Care Challenge, in addition to showcasing the benefits that our four legged friends have on our mental health. Meet some of them below!
It’s a long known fact that pets have a paws-itive effect on the mental health of their owners and those around them. The simple act of petting and stroking a pet has been proven to help ease tensions and provide a calming effect that ultimately can improve our mental wellbeing.
At Alberta Health Services there are 295 registered volunteers who join us with their furry companions through various pet therapy and pet visitation programs across the province. These unique volunteers offer a welcome distraction to those in care by providing an opportunity of a non-judgmental social interaction, accompanied by unconditional love and patience.
During the 2017-18 fiscal year, our four-legged volunteers made close to 4000 visits to people of all ages at over 85 AHS sites and facilities, contributing an astounding 948,000 hours.
National Pet Day was April 11, 2018 and was the purr-fect opportunity to introduce some of our most gentle volunteers and share their stories of bringing comfort and joy to our people, and the patients and families we serve.
Please join them now through June, and share how your pet supports your mental health by posting your photos and stories of your pets on social media using the hashtag #AHSwhatsyourbalance.