As part of May's monthly theme 'your experiences of mental health services' we invited the community to send in their questions to be answered by Healthwatch Sheffield. Here, a member of our community asks what to do when the service they need doesn't exist.
Community stories of pet positivity
We asked our community to share their stories of 'Pet Positivity', and the photos and words came in thick and fast. These submissions are a testament to the difference it can make when you share your life with an animal.
Every month Sheffield Flourish’s volunteers help pick our monthly themes, and April’s was ‘Pet Positivity’. Evidence shows that living with animals can be really good for our mental health, but we wanted to find out more from the community, so we asked people to share their photos and stories. Here’s what we discovered: pets can (and probably should) be written into treatment plans, animals definitely have an instinct and know when you’re down, and the Flourish community seem to have more dogs than cats!
Here’s some of the stories which were shared:
“My little critters always seem to know when I’m down. Usually one lays with his head on my shoulder and the other keeps my feet warm.” – Christopher
“This silly looking cat is Jack. I have had lots of lovely cats in my life, but none that make me laugh like Jack does. When I get up in the morning or when I come home from being out, he runs to be and wants a fuss made of him. He brings sunshine and laughter and affection into my life. He is only 2 years old, so I hope I will have him around for a very long time” – Juliet
“I got PomBear the beginning of the year. Although having a puppy has its challenges, she calms me. It’s like she is my tether to reality and life itself.” – Emma
Then we had a truly inspiring post from thisgirlcan:
Katherine shared a whole, excellent, story inspired by her dog Maggie, who helped her feel at home in a new city. We recommend reading this super story:
And Liz described her special relationship with Missy the dog:
Chrissy sent a hilarious photo of havoc wreaked:
And Lisa shared a photo of a much loved friend who was with her for an incredible 17 years:
Mary sent in a message about her husband Lee’s guide dog, who he describes as ‘the most beautiful thing in the world’:
And then we had some lovely photos to boot:
Any more to share?