Monday 18 May marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week and natural dog food brand Barking Heads, is proud to be partnering with Pets As Therapy and its ambassador, James Middleton, to help raise awareness of mental health and support the charity’s fundraising efforts.
Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. In England, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem, such as anxiety and depression, in any given week.*
The national charity, Pets As Therapy (PAT), sends trusted volunteers and their behaviourally assessed animals out on therapeutic visits to hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes and special needs schools. The service has a very positive impact on the communities it touches, with studies suggesting that pets can ease loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and even improve cardiovascular health.
James Middleton is an ambassador for PAT with first-hand experience of mental health difficulties. He has spoken openly in the past about his personal battles and speaks very passionately about how his own dogs – Ella, Zulu, Inka, Luna and Mabel – helped him on the road to recovery.
On Thursday 21 May at 18:30, James will be joined by PAT representative, Matthew Robinson, to host an exclusive live session on the Barking Heads Instagram channel. They will be talking about the charity’s invaluable work and answering questions from the public. Alongside this real time Q&A, Barking Heads is fundraising throughout the week for PAT, a cause that’s close to the heart of all its staff. The small, closely-knit team will be undertaking various personal challenges. Some are attempting half marathons, while others plan to cycle the gruelling equivalent of the Tour De France’s first stage. One dog-loving team member is even attempting to cover the elevation of Everest (in Hemel Hempstead!)
James Middleton says: “I believe dogs are the one animal that really love you more than they love themselves. My personal experience of the comfort, happiness and companionship of dogs inspired me to get involved with the PAT team. Now, as a result, my own dogs, Ella and Mabel, are both fully-fledged therapy dogs and I’m committed to helping people to learn more about the life-changing support PAT offers. This week offers us all an important opportunity to tackle the stigma still so often associated with mental health issues and I’m looking forward to helping Barking Heads in their efforts to raise more awareness and funds.”
Barking Heads marketing director, Julia Anderton says: “Mental Health is a deeply personal battle and pets can provide an invaluable amount of support. We’re all genuine pet-lovers at Barking Heads and most of us own dogs who are an enormous comfort. As a closely-knit team, separated by social distancing, we’re all increasingly grateful for the pets who are keeping us company and lifting our spirits! This collaboration is something each one of us feels very passionate about. We hope by setting ourselves some personal challenges to raise money, we can help Pets As Therapy deliver valuable support to the people who need it most. We’re all very thankful to James for joining our community for the live session and helping us get the message out to as many people as possible.”
Source: * www.mind.org.uk