Psychiatric Assistance Dogs

Lifeline Psychiatric Assistance Dogs are trained to enhance the lives of their handlers by helping them to live independently.  Each Lifeline is tailor trained to meet the specific needs of the individual with whom they will be placed.  These talented dogs are trained to help their handlers within the home, as well as outside of the home.

Lifeline Psychiatric Assistance Dogs are trained to perform tasks that help ease debilitating symptoms associated with many mental illnesses.

Disabilities served include, but are not limited to, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Acute Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Generalized Anxiety Disorders, Mood Disorders,  and Tourette Syndrome.

Listed below are examples of some of the many tasks Psychiatric Assistance Dogs can be trained to do for their handler.

  • Assist handler within their home.
  • Assist handler in places of public accommodation (e.g. grocery stores, shopping malls, public transportation, and etc.).
  • Remind their handler to take medication.
  • Wake handler for school or work.
  • Assist in coping with emotional overload by bringing handler into the “here and now” via sensory grounding.
  • Provide a buffer or a shield for the handler in crowded areas by creating a physical boundary.
  • Extinguish flashbacks by bringing handler into the here and now.
  • Orient during panic/anxiety attack.
  • Stand behind handler, watching the handler’s back, to increase feelings of safety, reduce hyper-vigilance, and decrease the likelihood of the handler being startled by another person coming up behind them
  • Search dwelling, alerting to any intruders

Many of the benefits to owning a Service Dog extend beyond having the dog’s assistance with certain tasks.  Such benefits are inherent in the human-canine relationship and often include:

  • Relief from feelings of isolation.
  • An increased sense of well-being.
  • Daily structure and healthy habits.
  • An increased sense of security.
  • An increased sense of self-efficacy.
  • An increased sense of self-esteem.
  • An increased sense of purpose.
  • Mood improvement, and increased optimism.
  • A secure and uncomplicated relationship.
  • Dependable and predictable love, affection and nonjudgmental companionship.
  • Motivation to exercise.
  • Encouragement and support for social interactions.
  • Reduction in debilitating symptoms.
  • Greater access to the world.
  • Around the clock support.