According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year, but less than two-thirds get treatment. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we at American Humane are committed to assisting in the national effort to raise awareness of these life-diminishing conditions. We are also proud to play an important role in addressing mental health conditions, particularly among America’s military community who protect our nation’s cherished freedoms.
For our country’s brave veterans, coming home is often only the beginning of another daunting battle. The invisible wounds of war, including Post-Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury, can cause debilitating symptoms in veterans, leading to depression, social isolation and, far too often, suicide. American Humane is devoted to harnessing the healing powers of the human-animal bond to help veterans today and every day.
Research shows that specially trained service dogs can reduce stress and anxiety levels, mitigate depression, ease social reintegration, provide comfort and restore confidence in affected veterans. However, there are many obstacles standing in the way of veterans in need of service dogs, including long waiting lists and exorbitant costs that can reach upwards of $30,000 per service dog.
To help, American Humane’s Pups4Patriots program pairs dogs in search of forever homes with veterans in need. The two are then trained together at absolutely no cost to the veteran themselves.
One of the main themes of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month is “Together for Mental Health.” We at American Humane are pleased to assist in this mission to not only raise awareness, but also help actively alleviate the stigma and struggles of those who suffer from mental health conditions.