Pet therapy boosts Shellharbour mental health patients’ well-being

Man’s best friend is proving good medicine for the teenagers at Shellharbour Hospital’s adolescent mental health unit. A pet therapy program has been in place for 12 months now, and young patients are reporting that the weekly visit is giving them a lift. Occupational therapist Rachael Wade said the program was run in conjunction with PAWS Pet Therapy, a not-for-profit organisation that trains volunteers and dogs to provide specialist therapy.