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Healing Companions, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to increasing awareness of and providing access to psychiatric service dogs (PSDs) as a form of treatment for mental illness. Our program helps individuals who are severely limited in their ability to function live with dignity, productivity, freedom and self-reliance.
Beyond basic obedience training, each dog we work with must be specially trained for the specific needs of the client. It can take up $20,000 and of specialized training to achieve this.
While we're proud to have a big impact, the fact is we are still a small organization, and our mission depends on the support of our readers and community to continue being successful. But our small size and lack of bureaucracy also allows us to have a minimal amount of overhead, and put the maximum amount of every dollar into helping people struggling with mental illness.
You have the chance to help fundamentally change someone’s life for the better in 2018. Contribute today and with the help of the Newman’s Own Foundation, you can multiply that gift at no additional cost to you.
What is a Psychiatric Service Dog? A psychiatric service dog or PSD is a dog that has been specially trained to assist the mentally ill person to be able to function out in the world, navigating their way through activities of daily living and providing the person with opportunities that they previously were incapable of achieving.
Depending on the individual’s disability and specific symptoms, PSDs can be task trained to guide a handler disoriented by anxiety, conduct a room search to alleviate fear of intruders or the unknown, provide assistance in locating an individual’s car when dissociating, interrupt a panic attack, obsessive compulsive behavior and/or nightmares, among a variety of other tasks.
The tasks that the PSD is trained to perform allow individuals to go out into the world, hold jobs, study, develop healthy relationships, and essentially become able to cope with the ups and downs of daily life.