According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):
Research shows that when we are facing despair, loneliness, chronic health issues, depression, addictions, or anything beyond our ability to cope, a pet can help ease the pain. The pet can give us a reason to get out of our thoughts to focus on a sense of purpose. The relationship we have with our pets is real and symbiotic—what you give to your pets comes back to you in ways that cannot be measured.
People often turn to pets for comfort and support during periods of emotional turmoil. Hugging and speaking with a pet who will not judge you for your feelings or thoughts is cathartic and helps people get through rough times. Pets also reduce symptoms of anxiety or depression, giving people a reason to get up in the morning. Other benefits are unconditional love, acceptance, and a “buddy” that encourages physical activity, which leads to healthier lifestyles. (NAMI, The Power of Pet Therapy, accessed 3.30.2021 from https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/November-2016/The-Power-of-Pet-Therapy)
New Horizon CSH employs a certified pet therapist to provide guided interaction between our clients and a trained animal – usually a dog or a cat. The pet therapist makes once weekly visits to our facility and works with clients who have expressed an interest in pet therapy.