Pets can help people manage serious mental illness, study finds

Press/Media: Research


Article by ABC News Australia:

There is significant evidence owning a pet has benefits for general wellbeing, but new research has found that pets can also play an important role in the daily management of long-term mental illness.

When people living with serious mental illness were asked what helped them manage their condition, many put their pets right near the top of the list.

In the study, published in BMC Psychiatry, 60 per cent of participants placed their pets in their central circle of support when given a diagram to illustrate their support network, and a further 20 per cent put their pet in the second circle.


Through interviews with the participants, researcher Helen Brooks of the University of Manchester and her colleagues found that pets helped people manage their feelings "through distraction from symptoms and upsetting experiences" and acted as "a form of encouragement for activity".

Period10 Dec 2016

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