Mental Health Service Dogs open doors for people with psychological disabilities.
Unleash Your Potential.
Imagine having a dog that could help you become a part of the world again.
Heeling Allies specializes in privately training Mental Health Service Dogs for individuals over the age of 18
with mental illness, developmental disorders, intellectual disorders,
and other psychological conditions that rise to the level of a
Enhanced Quality of Life and Personal Freedom.
Allies, Mental Health Service Dogs are trained to perform tasks that
help ease debilitating symptoms of some psychological impairments.
Mental disabilities served
include, but are not limited to, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),
Acute Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Obsessive
Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Generalized Anxiety Disorders, Mood Disorders, Asperger Syndrome, and Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Listed below are examples of some of the many tasks Mental Health Service Dogs can be trained to do for their handler.
- Assist handler within their home.
- Assist handler in places of public accommodation (e.g. grocery stores, shopping malls, public transportation, and etc.).
- Remind their handler to take medication.
- Wake handler for school or work.
- Assist in coping with emotional overload by bringing handler into the “here and now.”
- Provide a buffer or a shield for the handler in crowded areas by creating a physical boundary.
- Extinguish flashbacks by bringing handler into the here and now.
- Orient during panic/anxiety attack.
behind handler to increase feelings of safety, reduce hyper-vigilance,
and decrease the likelihood of the handler being startled by another
person coming up behind them.
of the benefits to owning a Service Dog extend beyond having the dog's
assistance with certain tasks. Such benefits are inherent in the
human-canine relationship and often include:
- Relief from feelings of isolation.
- An increased sense of well-being.
- Daily structure and healthy habits.
- An increased sense of security.
- An increased sense of self-efficacy.
- An increased sense of self-esteem.
- An increased sense of purpose.
- Mood improvement, and increased optimism.
- A secure and uncomplicated relationship.
- A dependable and predictable love, affection and nonjudgmental companionship.
- Encouragement for social interactions.
- Reduction in debilitating symptoms.
- Greater access to the world.
- Around the clock support.
Careful. Extensive. Quality. Unparalleled.
a six month intensive training program, Heeling Allies Service
Dogs live with a Heeling Allies trainer and are tailor trained to assist
their handler. These dogs learn to master advanced obedience skills and
public access skills, and to behave in places
of public accommodation (e.g. grocery stores, malls, and restaurants).
Heeling Allies Service Dogs are trained to perform tasks which are
unique to the individual with whom they will be placed, and
therapeutically interact with individuals who have mental challenges.
"Now I can go freely into
stores once again and not feel as if everyone is pressing in around me.
People automatically give us a wider berth and when it does get
crowded, Blue presses up against me which automatically turns my
attention to him rather than the crowds. I had forgotten what this
type of freedom felt like."
- L.R., and Heeling Allies Service Dog, Blue.
Is there is difference between a Psychiatric Service Dog and a Mental Health Service Dog?
Heeling Allies uses the term, Mental Health Service Dog over Psychiatric Service Dog for a several reasons. The word psychiatric
carries a lot of stigma. We have found that a large percentage of
people who have mental illness have an aversion to this word, since the
word is often associated with deprecating words like, psycho,
psychopath, psychotic, crazy and etcetera. In
2008, Darcie Boltz coined the term Mental Health Service Dog because
she felt moved to developing a solution-focused term for this
category of service dog.
categories of service dogs are modified according to the type
assistance the dog provides it’s handler (i.e. guide dog or seeing-eye
dog, mobility support dog, hearing dog, seizure alert dog, diabetic
alert dog and so on).
term, psychiatric service dog, other categories of service dogs are
modified according to the type assistance the dog provides it’s handler
(i.e. Guide Dog or Seeing-Eye Dog, Mobility Support Dog, Hearing Dog,
Seizure Alert Dog, Diabetic Alert Dog and so on). The term, Mental
Health Service Dog suggests the dog assists it's handler in achieving
mental health. Heeling
Allies encourages individuals to use the term they feel most
comfortable with, whether it is, Mental Health Service Dog, Psychiatric
Service Dog, or simply, Service Dog. Although, we have noticed the
term, Mental Health Service Dog is gaining in popularity and we are
pleased that this is so.
Heeling Allies is located in Seattle WA, and trains Mental Health Dogs for individuals nationally.
Currently Serving: Washington State & Upstate New York
© 2008-2014 Heeling Allies. All Rights Reserved.