Even before COVID-19 pandemic a mental health crisis has been brewing in our country. At 1 FUR 1 Foundation, we want for people in crisis to have free access to animal assisted services. Therefore, we’ve launched virtual sessions (in another words; A.R.E. ) plus a new program in TN, SC, NC and now NJ. This program benefits first responders and medical staff decompress with the help of Newfoundland therapy dogs. These gentle giants are able to cheer up those on the front lines and prevent thoughts of despair and social isolation.
But that’s not all… 1 FUR 1 Foundation’s Mid-Year Impact Report shows that more people are participating in our sponsored animal assisted therapy and activities sessions. Compared to last year, we’ve seen a much bigger demand as people with disabilities prefer to work with animals as part of their health care plan. At a glance, check out 2021 summary of our impact (January – June, 2021.
Some researchers predict that we could see between 10,000 and 100,000 more suicides and deaths of despair over the next decade due to the pandemic. Rates of depression tripled during the pandemic, while firearm sales grew, social isolation became acute and emergency room visits for suicidal ideation, or thoughts of committing suicide, increased. The rise in factors contributing to suicide are highly concerning, the report said. Researchers point to deaths of despair, harder access to mental health services as possible reasons. Click here to see NAMI guide on navigating a mental crisis.
If you or someone you know is struggling, please call 988 or click here for support.