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    • 14 May, 2024

    Mental Health Awareness Week at Mayhew

    It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and at Mayhew we want to shine a light on the impact our animals have on the wellbeing of our staff and our community.

    This week is a time to highlight the importance of mental well-being, break down stigmas, and advocate for better mental health care for everyone.

    One of the most important factors affecting our mental health is the relationships we have, including those with animals. Pets are a huge part of our lives and, in most cases, a very well-loved member of our direct or extended family, meaning they have a significant impact on our mental health too. This extends to the workplace, where having dogs and cats around can greatly enhance wellbeing.

    Dogs, cats and prioritising wellbeing at work

    Just being around animals can make us feel calmer. The simple act of petting a dog or cat can trigger your body to release oxytocin, the hormone that helps reduce stress. At Mayhew, we’re fortunate to share our offices with a dog or cat.

    Our Finance and Administration Officer, Ryan Aylward, explains how the experience of having a dog in the office has been both positive for him and them.

    “Gordon was very nervous when he first came to the office, scared of the stairs, wouldn’t really come close to me during the first few hours.

    “Any sudden noise would make him jump (and, I guess, every noise is sudden when you don’t know when it’s about to happen, so he would jump a lot). To see his confidence and affection change and grow, and to be able to play a small role in helping him unlock the love and affection he has to offer, has been such a blessing and privilege.”

    Having animals around at work can really make the office a better place. They’re a calming influence and can help people feel happier, which can boost positive working relationships and staff morale.

    They also get people talking and bonding over shared pet stories, creating a friendlier and more collaborative atmosphere. Plus, when people are less stressed and more content, they tend to get more done. So, pets don’t just make the workplace more fun—they can actually help everyone work better too.

    With 44% of workers reported as home or hybrid working in the last Office for National Statistics survey, it’s clear that more people are working from home than ever before. A rescue dog or cat can be the perfect companion for homeworkers as they keep you company throughout the workday and help to improve your overall sense of wellbeing, as well as your work to life balance by helping to give you gentle reminders that’s there more to life than just work.

    You can find all of the dogs and cats we currently have available for adoption here.

    Therapaws – pet therapy from Mayhew

    Pets can have a positive impact for those living with anxiety and depression. They give us routine, affection and company – they help us cope. More and more, animals are recognised and valued for the therapeutic benefits they can provide.

    At Mayhew, we provide pet therapy to organisations to promote physical, social and emotional wellbeing. Our volunteers take their behaviourally assessed dogs into hospitals, mental health centres, SEN schools, care homes and hospices to help improve the quality of life for those interacting with the animals.

    And it’s not only health care facilities and schools who are benefitting from human-animal bonding, but corporate companies too. Over the past six months, hundreds of people have been reached through TheraPaws by having a corporate day where they get to meet one of our dogs and seek the benefits from it, including an oxytocin boost.

    You can find out more about TheraPaws here and the positive impact it can have.

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