Loneliness is the theme for this year’s mental health awareness week and an alternative therapy method could just be the escape we need.
From dogs, to mice, to even stick insects, Noah’s Art in Salford and Greater Manchester provides animal assisted therapy for all ages, difficulties and strengths.
Sharon Hall RMN, founded Noah’s Art 7 years ago as she believed that purpose, meaningful activity, sense of identity, and repairing self-esteem were key to lasting mental health recovery.
In the UK 1.4 million people were in contact with mental health services at the end of December 2021, according to the Mental Health Services Monthly Statistics.
Catherine Hall, 28, is the AAI Practitioner and project development officer at Noah’s Art. She told me that not only do the animals help with the feelings of loneliness, animal assisted therapy can also, “help reduce physiological indicators of stress such as blood pressure and heart rate.
“It can also promote the release of ‘feel good’ hormones such as oxytocin, which has an effect on mood, anxiety and interpersonal relationships.”
Noah’s Art offer a full range of services such as, one-to-one and group sessions at their base, and also provide a visiting service where they take the animals into care homes, schools, hospitals, mental health units and community groups.
If talking therapies are not for you, Catherine also explains that some of the work with the animals focuses on,“ social communication and communication skills.”
Animal-assisted interventions have proven to improve mental wellbeing and Catherine further explained to me how they support their clients to achieve an increased sense of worth and purpose through looking after and caring for the animals.
Available Services –
If you are struggling, help is available.
Mental health helpline numbers in Salford:
Samaritans Helpline Number – 116-123
National Mental Health Hotline – 866-903-3787