Authors: Mandala Mental Health Clinic, Gosford Hospital, NSW
Event: 2002 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: NSW
Award level: Special Award
Award category: Consumer/ Carer Program or service
Abstract: “The consumers of Mandala have asked for Meg our Pet Therapy dog to be entered for this award. They feel she gives them so much in the way of attention. Meg listens to what consumers have to say without judging them. Meg always greets everyone and allows consumers to cuddle her; she often sits with people who are upset. The consumers say they always look forward to her being on the ward. In all the time Meg has spent on the ward she has never been abused. The other interesting thing is that everyone on the ward enjoys her company, even people who don’t like dogs. She does join in ward activities such as groups, house meeting, creative arts, discharge planning, and going for walks. One are that none of us though about was moving into the main hospital while our ward was being fixed up. Visitors, staff and other patients all wanted to know about Meg. We found that by people stopping to talk to Meg, we could break down some of the stigmas that are still part of mental health. The consumers recommend that every unit like ours have an animal around the wards to provide warm interactions; it helps when we are feeling low.” Excerpt from the entry form by Lesley Nord.