Mental Health Awareness Week 2020: Kindness
During the week of 18th -24th May our nation is raising awareness of Mental Health. Ever since 2001 Mental Health Foundation have been organising activities and events during one week in May to campaign for better mental health, with various themes each year. This year they have chosen the theme Kindness.
Research carried out by the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) found that protecting our mental health would be the key to our recovery from the Corona Virus pandemic. The adverse impact on our mental health by this virus could be greater than its impact on our physical health if we do not address real issues.
It is well known that Mental Health issues can affect anyone and can appear suddenly without us sometimes realising it. During the times when we are socially isolated from our family and friends, with social distancing rules in place in parks and towns, our mental health is most vulnerable and can easily be adversely impacted.
Being kind to someone can bring benefits to those who give it and to those who receive it. MHF have found that kindness increases the feelings of self-worth, confidence and gives a sense of purpose and belonging.
The Pigfather’s Therapy Trained Miniature Pigs
At The Pigfather we fully embrace Kindness, not only during the Mental Health Awareness week but on a day to day basis. During the times of isolation many people feel lonely and depressed. Since the beginning of the Pandemic our Miniature Pig Visits have been cancelled or postponed. Therefore, we decided to share more information and photographs of our cute Miniature Pigs on Social Media with live Facebook presentations to help lift the nation’s spirits.
The Pigfather’s mission is to provide Miniature Pig Therapy Sessions to anyone who needs it. During the past two years we have visited a number of corporate offices, universities, specialist schools as well as care homes where our Therapy Trained Miniature Pigs offered an incredible opportunity to connect with nature and animals. We have even appeared at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum Friday Late Program in July 2019 which saw thousands of visitors interacting with our friendly Miniature Pigs Holly and Polly.
It is well known that animals do not pass judgment and interacting with well socialized and friendly animals can bring enormous physical, emotional and mental health benefits. That is why Animal Assisted Therapy or Pet Therapy is a well-recognised therapeutic intervention beneficial to all but especially children and adults who suffer from anxiety, autism, mood swings or other mental health issues.
Visiting a specialist school in London earlier this year was such a precious experience not only for the children and the staff but also for us. Seeing the children’s faces light up with happiness was the highlight of our visit. The visit to a Care home in Surrey was another uplifting experience for all.
We take great care in breeding, socializing and training our Miniature Piglets from the day they are born so that they are suitable for Therapy work. All our piggies undergo a long complex training program to ensure they are friendly and obedient and offer maximum benefit to our customers.
Mental and Physical Benefits of Therapy Animals in Research Studies
Scientific studies performed by Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABR) highlight the many benefits of a therapeutic interaction between people and animals. Some of the benefits identified for cancer patients interacting with animal assisted activities, for example, was reduction of stress associated with cancer diagnosis and treatment, reduction of pain and increased feelings of self-worth.
In addition, the HABR have identified numerous health benefits of human animal interaction on mental health as well. Animal Assisted Therapy was found to reduce stress and anxiety in university students as well as hospital patients, to improve well-being of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder sufferers (PTSD), to reduce depression in long-term care home residents amongst other emotional and physical benefits.
So, next time you wish to get some well-proven therapy, why not get in touch with us to see how our Therapy Miniature Pigs can help you or your loved one. This can be in a comfort of your own home or garden, as a small family gathering, as a one to one session or an interaction at an event or a school. We are always happy to help.