Pets As Therapy Volunteers share emotional stories about their pooches on Mental Health Day

Mental Health Day came to Sheffield Hallam Student’s Union today, and Pets As Therapy has made a visit.

Pets As Therapy is a national charity that enhances health and wellbeing in the community through the visits of trusted volunteers, with their behaviourally assessed animals.

They aim to improve lives in the community by providing companionship to tackle loneliness.

Helen Geilheadt, 37, is a volunteer with the charity and brought her Bedlington Terrier, Ted, to the session.

She said: “I recently had a baby and was terribly poorly before and after the pregnancy, this impacted my mental health. Ted doesn’t leave my side when I’m poorly, he stays by me, comforts me and sits on my feet. I don’t know what I’d do without him.”

The PAT teams visit residential homes, hospitals, hospices, schools, daycare centres, and prisons.

Heidi also brought her other terrier, Stormy, to the event. She said: “He’s a rescue for my dad. My dad lost his wife a few years ago, and Stormy’s been very therapeutic for him to help him get through his grief. In a way, Stormy has been a godsend for all our family.”

Students gathered around the dogs and they were clearly happy to be distracted from their studies for a while.

You can donate to the charity by visiting the Pets As Therapy website.


Written by Leila Marshall

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