A Wigan woman has spoken out about how getting a pet helped her to conquer her depression and anxiety.
Rebecca, whose puppy Oscar appears in the Wellbeing Pets Calendar for 2017, is keen to highlight the positive impact that animals can have on our mental health.
As a supporter of the Rethink Mental Illness charity, she was among contributors who submitted pictures of their pets and a brief description of how they help. A shortlist was put to public vote to pick the winning entries.
Every month features a different furry friend and the stories demonstrate the life changing effect pets can have for someone living with a mental illness such as depression or bipolar disorder.
Rebecca said: “Having Oscar the puppy as an addition to the family is the best treatment I have ever had for anxiety and depression.
“Certainly a playful pup, he also has such a gentle side, sensing when you are feeling low or uneasy. He is also there for you no matter what.”
The calendar also raises awareness of the services provided by Rethink Mental Illness, which enable people affected by conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, as well as their carers, to access the information, care and support they need to manage their illness and live the best possible quality of life.
Nigel Campbell from Rethink Mental Illness said, “It’s great to see such inspiring stories from our supporters that show what a difference a pet can make when it comes to your mental health, from reducing anxiety and stress, to having a reason to get outside and be more active.”
The calendar, priced £6 plus post and packaging, can be bought from http://www.rethink.org/shop