Stress and burnout, Pet Therapy in Wales helps ambulance staff: Dill's story

In Mid Wales the Ambulance Service has welcomed Dill, its first therapy dog. A solution to the increasing stress and burnout that is affecting ambulance crews as elsewhere in the world

Border collie Dill and Katie McPheat-Collins, head of the Central Wales Emergency Medical Services

The handler and dog pair have in fact joined the Oscar Kilo 9 (OK9) wellness and trauma therapy programme, a first in the UK.

OK9 was launched in 2019 by the National Police Wellbeing Service, which aims to develop local police welfare dog services to make them available to all forces wishing to introduce a dog as part of their welfare offering.

Dill passed the assessments set out by OK9 and met all the criteria to become a welfare and trauma therapy dog for the Trust.

Katie said: ‘For the past six years Dill has been, and still is, an operational search and rescue dog with SARDA South Wales and is a member of the Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team.

However, his extremely gentle and calm nature and affinity with people led to the recent assessment and subsequent role within the Trust.”

Dill’s integration is part of a wider programme of work to improve the health and wellbeing of staff and volunteers, providing a furry addition to the wider toolkit.

“Dill’s support can take the form of station visits to help with morale and stress, presence during debriefs or community engagement, especially when engaging with a young, elderly or vulnerable audience.”

The OK9 programme in Wales

Sergeant Garry Botterill, Wellbeing and Trauma Support Dog Project Manager at the National Police Wellbeing Service, said: ‘The OK9 programme has proved extremely popular within the Police and Fire Service, and the number of Wellbeing and Trauma Support Dogs has grown to over 175 in the last 18 months.

We are delighted to welcome the Welsh Ambulance Service into the programme so they can enjoy the many benefits of this structured, proven and effective welfare initiative.”

“All emergency services deal with traumatic events and highly stressful situations.

“Wellbeing Dogs help to provide relief to colleagues, especially after difficult incidents.

We have found that they help people talk more openly and, because the handler is a colleague trained in peer support, they listen effectively and can direct them to the appropriate support if needed.”

“I would like to thank Katie, Dill and the Welsh Ambulance Service for being the first in the ambulance service to pilot this programme and wish them every success.”

The Trust continues to explore other forms of animal therapy to help staff and volunteers when they have a difficult day.

An experiment that perhaps should be repeated in other countries, given the benefit it seems to bring.

Read Also

Emergency Live Even More…Live: Download The New Free App Of Your Newspaper For IOS And Android

Rescuer Safety: Rates Of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) In Firefighters

UK, The Use Of Drone Technology For Police Dog Cameras: A New Frontier For Rescue Dog Units?

PTSD Alone Didn’t Increase Heart Disease Risk In Veterans With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Definition, Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment

PTSD: First responders find themselves into Daniel artworks

TASD, A Sleep Disorder In Survivors Of Traumatic Experiences

Dealing With PTSD After A Terroristic Attack: How To Treat A Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Anxiety And Allergy Symptoms: What Link Does Stress Determine?

Panic Attacks: Do Psychotropic Drugs Solve The Problem?

Panic Attacks: Symptoms, Causes And Treatment

First Aid: How To Deal With Panic Attacks

Panic Attack Disorder: Feeling Of Imminent Death And Anguish

Panic Attacks: Symptoms And Treatment Of The Most Common Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety And Allergy Symptoms: What Link Does Stress Determine?

Eco-Anxiety: The Effects Of Climate Change On Mental Health

Separation Anxiety: Symptoms And Treatment

Anxiety, When Does A Normal Reaction To Stress Become Pathological?

Anxiety: The Seven Warning Signs

Physical And Mental Health: What Are Stress-Related Problems?

Cortisol, The Stress Hormone

Gaslighting: What Is It And How To Recognise It?

Eco Anxiety Or Climate Anxiety: What It Is And How To Recognize It

Stress And Sympathy: What Link?

Pathological Anxiety And Panic Attacks: A Common Disorder

Panic Attack Patient: How To Manage Panic Attacks?

Depression: Symptoms, Causes And Treatment

Cyclothymia: Symptoms And Treatment Of Cyclothymic Disorder

Dysthymia: Symptoms And Treatment

Bipolar Disorder (Bipolarism): Symptoms And Treatment

Bipolar Disorders And Manic Depressive Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Medication, Psychotherapy

Everything You Need To Know About Bipolar Disorder

Drugs To Treat Bipolar Disorder

What Triggers Bipolar Disorder? What Are The Causes And What Are The Symptoms?

Depression, Symptoms And Treatment

Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Identifying, Diagnosing And Treating A Narcissist

Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED): What It Is And How To Treat It

Baby Blues, What It Is And Why It Is Different From Postpartum Depression

Depression In The Elderly: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

6 Ways To Emotionally Support Someone With Depression

Defusing Among First Responders: How To Manage The Sense Of Guilt?

Paranoid Personality Disorder: General Framework

The Developmental Trajectories Of Paranoid Personality Disorder (PDD)

Reactive Depression: What It Is, Symptoms And Treatments For Situational Depression

Facebook, Social Media Addiction And Narcissistic Personality Traits

Social And Exclusion Phobia: What Is FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)?

Gaslighting: What Is It And How To Recognise It?

Nomophobia, An Unrecognised Mental Disorder: Smartphone Addiction

The Panic Attack And Its Characteristics

Psychosis Is Not Psychopathy: Differences In Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment

Metropolitan Police Launches A Video Campaign To Raise Awareness Of Domestic Abuse

Metropolitan Police Launches A Video Campaign To Raise Awareness Of Domestic Abuse

World Women’s Day Must Face Some Disturbing Reality. First Of All, Sexual Abuse In Pacific Regions

Child Abuse And Maltreatment: How To Diagnose, How To Intervene

Child Abuse: What It Is, How To Recognise It And How To Intervene. Overview Of Child Maltreatment

Does Your Child Suffer From Autism? The First Signs To Understand Him And How To Deal With Him

Surviving death – A doctor revived after attempting suicide

Higher risk of stroke for veterans with mental health disorders

Pharmacological Treatment Of Anxiety: The Flip Side Of Benzodiazepines



You might also like