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Animal-loving patients at acute mental health wards enjoy pet therapy session

Animal-loving patients at Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) enjoyed meeting five dogs during a pet therapy session at the weekend.

The Essex Therapy Dogs spent three hours visiting and engaging with patients across five acute inpatient wards – four at the Trust’s Linden Centre and one at Crystal Centre, both in Chelmsford.

Pet therapy has been proven to have many benefits for mental health and help people to feel calm, provide comfort and help soothe emotions, reduce boredom, lower anxiety levels and bridge communication gaps.

It was the first time the Essex Therapy Dogs team had visited the two centres and they spent time playing with the patients.

Matt Sisto, Director of Patient Experience, said: “I want to give a huge thank you to Essex Therapy Dogs and their hard working volunteers, who generously give up their spare time to visit our wards.

“We know the visit was extremely beneficial for our patients and an extremely positive experience for everyone.

“The dogs really brightened everyone’s day, especially for those patients who had previously felt unable to talk with staff.

“We hope to work with Essex Therapy Dogs to organise more visits across our inpatient services.”

Essex Therapy Dogs is a local group who offer visits to people in various organisations across Essex to provide comfort, help and support to people who need it. 


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