When the unthinkable happens or life seems hopeless, we are HERE to provide the emotional SUPPORT needed to transition from recovery to resilience.
As a human services organization, one of Canine Assisted Therapy’s goals is to identify the needs of our community and respond to these developments accordingly. Over the years there’s been increasing demand for therapy dogs at behavioral and mental health facilities, as well as after traumatic events like the 2018 tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the condo collapse in Surfside. With recent studies showing anxiety and depressive disorders on the rise, professionals working in the mental health and first responder fields are recognizing the value of canine-assisted interventions and the emotional health benefits it has on people affected by trauma.
Through the use of animal assisted intervention and our certified pet therapy teams, Canine Assisted Therapy’s Mental Health and Trauma Response (MHTR) program addresses this need by providing intermediate emotional support to those in the wake of trauma or battling a mental health crisis.
WHAT IS THE MENTAL HEALTH AND TRAUMA RESPONSE PROGRAM? Interacting with a trained animal in a safe environment can provide comfort and relief to those affected by unforeseen tragedy or mental health related trauma. The animal’s presence provides a sense of security and familiarity, which aids in building rapport and trust with an individual experiencing crisis. The MHTR program provides psychologically therapeutic interactions with trained handlers and their therapy dogs, which can help reduce the likelihood of developing PTSD.
MENTAL HEALTH AND TRAUMA RESPONSE TEAM CREDENTIALS - MHTR does not take the place of professional interventions or treatment, but provides transitional support through empathy, active listening and the unconditional love of a therapy dog.
Our highly skilled MHTR per therapy teams are specifically trained to work with individuals experiencing trauma or other mental health related issues. Developed and instructed by our community partner, Eagles Haven Wellness Center, the MHTR training includes Mental Health First Aid and Trauma-Informed Care concepts, as well as healing centered engagement techniques. This comprehensive teaching ensures our volunteers are qualified and prepared to safely and appropriately assist in the healing process.
THE MENTAL HEALTH AND TRAUMA RESPONSE PROGRAM CAN ASSIST AGENCIES LIKE:
- Mental and Behavioral Health Facilities
- Police/Fire Rescue
- Special Victims Unit
- Funeral Homes
- Crisis Management Staff
HOW DOES IT WORK? If you work for one of the facilities above and think your clients, staff or peers could positively benefit from interacting with a therapy animal after experiencing trauma or dealing with a mental health issue, contact us for more information at (954) 990-5175.
MHTR teams can respond to a variety of scenarios and situations in Broward, Dade and West Palm Beach county. Visits can be arranged on-site at the requesting facility, at our office in Oakland Park, or other secure location.