24 June 2015

Canadian National Standards for Service Dogs

Erin O’Toole from the Ministry of Veterans Affairs announced that national standards will be created for service dogs that assist Veterans with mental health conditions. The Honourable O’Toole said, “We expect this work will confirm what Veterans have been telling us about the benefits of psychiatric service dogs—how these dogs have improved their quality of life. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting research to achieve better outcomes for Veterans with PTSD and other mental health conditions.” O’Toole also wants people to be aware of the network of mental health clinics and service points at which Veterans may seek help. A 24-hour hotline is also available that provides support to Veterans and their families.

National standards will help ensure consistency for psychiatric service dogs serving Veterans. The Canadian General Standards Board, Veterans’ groups, and psychiatric service dog training providers will work together to create the national standards.

The Canadian Government provides the following facts about psychiatric service dogs:
  • Psychiatric service dogs are trained to help a person with a mental health condition by performing tasks in response to a cue.
  • A constant companion, these dogs can help their owner manage many common symptoms of PTSD, and guide them away from stressful situations. They can also provide physical support if their owner loses his or her balance.
  • Up to $340,000 in funding has been approved to set national standards for service dogs.
  • The pilot research, which will include up to 50 Canadian Veterans with service dogs, is being funded with $500,000 and is expected to be first class and ground-breaking. The research could help set standards of Veteran service dogs and their certification in allied countries.

No comments:

Post a Comment