The Department of Veterans’ Affairs has made an approach to market to identify service providers to conduct a trial of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder assistance dogs.
CAPTION: Paddington – K9 Trainer Melanie Scott‘s assistance-dog-in-training.
The Request for Expression of Interest (REOI) from service providers will assess the clinical utility of specifically trained assistance dogs for veterans with PTSD.
A DVA spokesman said that unlike companion animals, PTSD assistance dogs were specially trained to perform tasks that contribute to the clinical management of a person’s PTSD, such as detecting signs of distress in their owners and performing specific tasks to help alleviate those symptoms.
“Dogs are already used to support those with physical disabilities and there is an increasing interest in using these animals to assist veterans managing mental health issues,” the DVA spokesman said.
“The trial will help inform future policy directions to meet the mental health needs of Australia’s veteran community.
“The Government is seeking service providers with the specialist capabilities and capacity to inform and deliver the trial, which is expected to commence no later than mid-2018.
“DVA is seeking a suitably experienced and qualified organisation or consortium of organisations to conduct a four-year trail of psychiatric dogs as an adjunct to treatment for veterans with clinically diagnosed PTSD.”
This REOI is open until 11 December and can be found on the AusTender website.