Trial of assistance dogs for veterans with PTSD

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan has announced the government is working on a trial to evaluate the mental health benefits of assistance dogs for veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Mr Tehan said the trial would enable the collection of evidence to inform future policy considerations to help the government continue meeting the mental health needs of veterans.

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“Anyone who has had a dog knows they can be loyal friends and many veterans have told me that having a dog has been incredibly beneficial for their mental health,” Mr Tehan said.

“The government now wants to investigate whether this benefit can be supported by evidence from a trial.

“More than 30,000 Australian veterans have an accepted service-related disability for PTSD and the government is committed to tackling the mental health challenges facing veterans and their families.

“In last year’s budget, the government made the treatment of PTSD free for anyone who has served one day in the full-time ADF and this has led to encouraging results with more veterans seeking help for PTSD – and getting that help.”

Mr Tehan said the trial was being planned to guarantee the safety of the human and animal participants as well as the general public.

The government recently approved a grant to study the value of service dogs for veterans with mental health conditions under the new Supporting Younger Veterans Program.

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

One thought on “Trial of assistance dogs for veterans with PTSD

  • 07/02/2018 at 8:21 pm
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    Well I think a loving animal can be ‘man’s best friend.’

    Many of us suffering from the effects of war do indeed have a loving animal. Certainly in my case, my miniature Daschund, Miss Penny, a six year old dog, is constantly by my side. She protects me and she has a calming effect on me. As I have a hearing problem, she easily detects when someone is around and barks like a Rotweiller to let me know someone is about.

    I have had many dogs over the years and my wife refers to Miss Penny as my companion dog. I would be lost without her.

    Unfortunately she could never be classed as a companion dog because she hasn’t been ‘trained.’

    And this I believe is an error. A dog faithful to me should be able to be assessed as a ‘companion dog,’ rather than a strange dog that has been ‘trained.’

    Reply

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