A Place to Be's, Children's Mental Health Week is an important event that raises awareness about the importance of children's mental health and well-being. This year’s theme is Let’s Connect!
Mental health issues in children can manifest in many different ways, including anxiety, depression, behavioral problems, and difficulty with social interactions. These issues can have a significant impact on a child's ability to learn, grow, and thrive.
Connection is a fundamental aspect of human well-being and plays a critical role in mental health. Research has shown that people who have strong social connections are generally happier, healthier, and have a greater sense of purpose and meaning in life. In contrast, people who feel isolated and disconnected from others are at a higher risk for mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and suicide.
Why are Connections important?
One of the reasons why connection is so important for mental health and is the reason for this year’s theme is that it provides a sense of belonging and acceptance. When we feel connected to others, we feel like we are part of something bigger than ourselves and that we matter to others, whether that is the connection we have to family, friends, colleagues, peers or just in the general community.
How PAWS builds its connections
PAWS prides itself on being able to build connections with the young people we support. We motivate and reignite their enthusiasm to engage with their community, peers and education - we build bridges that allows them to access life. Our therapy dogs provide a safe space for the young people to form a relationship with them and in turn that young person feels safe with the practitioner the dog trusts. The dogs become the lubricant to making these sessions successful and allow our young people to connect on a level they perhaps have not felt before. The power of the canine human bond is phenomenal, creating a non judgemental space for our young people to feel safe.
Dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years, and throughout this time, they have evolved to become highly attuned to human behavior and emotions. This has led to a deep understanding and connection between the two species. Our PAWS therapy dogs provide emotional support and companionship to our young people. They help to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression by providing a sense of comfort and security. Studies have shown that spending time with dogs can lead to an increase in the release of the hormone oxytocin, which is known to have a positive effect on mood and social bonding.
If you are interested in accessing our services then please get in touch - We would love to CONNECT with you :-)