Christina: Healing Companions Inc.

Hi! My name is Christina.  The theme I have selected for my community work and focus this quarter is Health and Wellness.  I am applying for the Alcohol and Drug Counseling program here at PCC which is why I am interested in the health and wellness theme.  I have my B.A. in Psychology and am fascinated with the connection between addiction and mental health.  I would like to work with adolescents who suffer from addiction/eating disorders.  I am hoping to do my volunteer work virtually with Healing Companions Inc., a non-profit program that adopts shelter dogs and trains them to become psychiatric service dogs.  The service dogs are trained to assist individuals who are limited in their ability to function in everyday activities, people who suffer from panic attacks, anxiety, and overeating as well as many other mental health disorders.  The volunteer position is for fundraising and grant writing so I would not be interacting with the dogs themselves, although I hope to learn more about the organization while I help them raise awareness and money.  I would like to learn while volunteering whether psychiatric service dogs could aid in addiction amongst adolescents as an alternative treatment to some of the mental health issues that lead them to use.  The website shows training of dogs who stop their companions from overeating, I would be interested to find out if this has been applied to addiction.  Here is the link to the Healing companions website http://www.healing-companions.com/program/.  I encourage you all to go check it out, companion animals have helped many people lead fulfilling lives instead of being restricted by their disorders.  I leave you with a picture of the newest addition to my family, our adorable corgi Henry.  He should be arriving in a few weeks, and I could not be happier to have a dog in my home!

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