Healing Companions, Inc.
Since the publication of Miller’s book in 2010, the need for PSDs has become vast, and Miller’s skills and knowledge are being requested nationally & internationally. In 2012 Miller founded the non-profit program Healing Companions, Inc. to provide funding to meet the growing demand for PSD assessment, education, and training. Donations will be used to implement scientific research to demonstrate how PSDs impact the lives of those that are severely limited in their abilities to function due to mental illness.
Through the benefits of psychiatric service dogs, Healing Companions, Inc. is dedicated to assisting individuals severely limited in their ability to function due to mental illness so that they can lead lives with dignity, productivity, freedom and self-reliance. Healing Companions is committed to creating a greater awareness of the healing benefits of psychiatric service dogs and incorporating shelter and rescue dogs whenever possible in its program.
Healing Companions will become the premier organization involved in the promotion and provision of psychiatric service dogs [PSDs] to individuals with a demonstrated need that meet the requirements of the program.
- Persons in the Northeast Ohio region that qualify under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) in their limited ability to function due to mental illness and meet the requirements of the program will have access to fully trained PSDs in order to diminish the effects of specific individual symptoms.
- Mental health professionals and those impacted by mental illness will be fully informed about the legal, ethical, and psychosocial impact of PSDs in the lives of individuals who are severely limited in their ability to function due to mental illness
- The presence of PSDs assisting clients in the community will diminish the stigmas that the general public currently associates with mental illness.
Ethical and Humane Treatment of Individuals and Animals
- Program: Establish a system to provide PSDs to those individuals within the region who request a PSD and who meet the requirements of the program. Healing Companions will initially provide up to 5 annual matches and up to 10 annual matches by year three of the program.
- Develop an intake system to manage the requests for psychiatric service dogs.
- Provide the training needed for the service dogs and clients with the resources available.
- Design a referral/educational system designed to encourage mental health professionals to recommend their clients to the program.
- Create a network of trainers qualified to train shelter/rescue dogs in the basic behaviors and social skills needed to be psychiatric service dogs.
- Design and implement the administrative support system needed to provide sustainability for the organization beyond the startup phase of the program.
- Resources: Develop financial and other resources necessary to sustain the mission and vision of the organization including launching programs, creating infrastructure and marketing.
- Establish a fund development plan that raises sufficient start-up capital and provides on-going support to insure the sustainability of the organization.
- Design a board development program that will attract high level policy volunteers that have the capacity to connect the organization to financial resources and provide effective governance.
- Develop relationships with local animal shelters and dog rescues to ensure that whenever possible their dogs will be the primary source of the psychiatric service dogs for the program.
- Create a network of volunteers that are dedicated to raising awareness and support for Healing Companions.
- Awareness: Raise the level of knowledge of the value and benefits of PSDs within the mental health professional training curriculums (e.g., psychiatry, psychology, social work). In addition, by observing PSDs assisting clients in the community, the general public will have an enhanced image of those dealing with mental illness.
- Educate the public and mental health professionals about the benefits of psychiatric service dogs through the development of an effective marketing and branding plan for Healing Companions.
- Pursue collaborative relationships with organizations that have similar public awareness missions in order to increase the impact of those who advocate for the same goals as Healing Companions.
- Identify national media spokespersons that can expand awareness of Healing Companions.
- Generate an evidence base for the use of psychiatric service dogs for individuals who meet the criteria of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- No upcoming events scheduled
For the Media
For media inquiries and other publicity matters, please contact Warwick Associates.
Jane Miller, LISW, IAABC-CDBC & AABP- CDBC
Follow Jane on Twitter at @janemillerdogs.