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Animal Aid- an end to mental health waiting lists | Amy Aylmer | TEDxDrogheda

By Amy Aylmer

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Currently Ireland has the highest child girl suicide rates in the EU. Waiting lists to see a mental health professional for young adults under 18 are incomprehensible. Schools and colleges cannot hire counsellors fast enough. Although there are many reasons, theory's and explanations as to why so many young people suffer with their mental health, there are little to none solutions to the crisis. In conjunction with this, over 30,000 animals are left homeless each year, with just above 3,000 being euthanized. Again, although there are many explanations for why this happens, there are little to none solutions. Animal assisted therapy can solve both of these problems simultaneously; at home, in schools, in therapy. For issues such as anxiety, trauma, depression and OCD. Studies have shown that sleeping beside a dog results in better quality sleep, than sleeping beside another human being. I truly believe this is an idea worth sharing, an idea that could change lives and an idea that could save the future people of this planet. I grew up in Drogheda. I dreamed of leaving, to see bigger and brighter things. I did. Then - I came back. I spent years studying and travelling the world, and learning about us, human beings, and where we came from, animals.  The one thing, however which was a constant in a sea of change- was the issue of mental health. I explored jungles and languages, liaised with military police, got lost at sea and even landed in the therapist's office myself. Whether it was others whom I supported, or my own, the subject of mental health was a constant white noise. Upon my return I was diagnosed with PTSD. Three years on, I have healed and developed a passion for that which aided me. Currently I train therapy animals, study psychology and support people. 


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2019
Publisher TEDx Talks
Size/Length 10:55
Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal-assisted therapies
  2. Animal roles
  3. Mental health and well-being
  4. open access
  5. Pets and companion animals
  6. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  1. open access