Breaking stigma around mental illness with Paws for Prevention – KSNB Local 4

Breaking stigma around mental illness with Paws for Prevention – KSNB Local 4

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) – The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Nebraska Chapter gathered all dog parents to raise awareness on mental health.

They hosted their Paws for Prevention event on Saturday at Hall County Park to help break the stigma around mental health and to promote how these furry friends can be comforting during tough times.

“Animals are a very important part of mental health,” Paws for Prevention Coordinator Sandy Manfull said. “They have known to lower stress help with anxiety, depression, just you know, you have to take them for walks, they’re there for you. So many people will say because of my dog, it’s just made my day.”

Many people who struggle with mental illness may feel shame for getting help because so many people around them still don’t want to recognize the severity of the issue.

“They don’t believe it’s real, they don’t believe,” Manfull said. “It’s just that we can turn that off and it’s not that way, you know mental illness is real, we might not be able to see it but we can’t see heart disease, we can’t see high blood pressure, it’s just as real.”

Manfull hopes as they bring this issue to the forefront through events and spreading the word, it will encourage people to talk about it.

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