At SCAS, we’ve seen an increase in the number of enquiries specifically asking about mental health ‘assistance dogs’ and the role of dogs in providing emotional support. In the UK at the present time, there are no Assistance Dogs UK accredited assistance dogs charities that train dogs for people with mental health issues where this is the only disability.
Are emotional support dogs recognised as assistance dogs? Currently, no. Please see this link for further information.
Discussions are currently underway to look at some of the issues around registering assistance dogs. There is a current initiative by the Office of Disability issues (DWP) to bring stakeholders together to create a public access test that would be available for both owner-trainer assistance dog partnerships and those trained by non-ADI/IGDG organisations. For further details and updates, please visit the ADUK website.
There can be no denial that for many people with mental health conditions the company of their pet dog can be a huge enabler in terms of going about their daily lives. We’ve heard from many people that feel they could not leave the house if it were not for the company of their dog.
SCAS wants to improve the information that is available relating to this matter.
We would like to hear from you if you have a mental health condition and have thoughts about how your dog does and could help you to cope when going about your daily life. This is an anonymous survey and your input is very welcome.