Saturday October 19, 2019

Emotional Support Alligator That Helps With Depression

Henney frequently takes Wally out for meet-and-greets at places like senior centers and minor-league baseball games.

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Alligator
In this Oct. 3, 2018 photo, an alligator floats at dusk in the Davis Pond Diversion in Luling, La. VOA

A Pennsylvania man says his emotional support alligator helps him deal with his depression.

Joie Henney, 65, said his registered emotional support animal named Wally likes to snuggle and give hugs, despite being a 5-foot-long alligator. The York Haven man said he received approval from his doctor to use Wally as his emotional support animal after not wanting to go on medication for depression, he told Philly.com .

“I had Wally, and when I came home and was around him, it was all OK,” he said. “My doctor knew about Wally and figured it works, so why not?”

Depression
Henney’s background also indicates a comfort with creatures like Wally.

Wally was rescued from outside Orlando at 14 months old. Henney says Wally eats chicken wings and shares an indoor plastic pond with a smaller rescue alligator named Scrappy.

Wally, who turns 4 this year, is a big teddy bear, in Henney’s words. The cold-blooded reptile likes to rest his snout on Henney’s, and “he likes to give hugs,” he said.

The alligator has never bitten anyone and is even afraid of cats, according to Henney.

Henney acknowledged that Wally is still a dangerous wild animal and could probably tear his arm off, but says he’s never been afraid of him.

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Henney’s background also indicates a comfort with creatures like Wally. He hosted a show called “Joie Henney’s Outdoors” on ESPN Outdoors from 1989 to 2000, according to the York Daily Record.

Henney frequently takes Wally out for meet-and-greets at places like senior centers and minor-league baseball games.

“He’s just like a dog,” Henney told a woman at a recent outing to a senior center. “He wants to be loved and petted.” (VOA)

Next Story

Majority of Indians opt Physical Wellbeing over Mental Wellbeing: Study

Survey reveals that 64 per cent Indians believe that is equally important to have both, physical and mental health

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Indians
A survey reveals that 64 per cent Indians believe that is equally important to have both, physical and mental health. Pixabay

A majority of Indians, at 75 per cent, are preoccupied about their physical wellbeing, over mental wellbeing at 62 per cent, a survey by global market reseach agency Ipsos has found.

The survey, conducted to coincide with the World Mental Health Day, found 64 per cent Indians believe that is equally important to have both, physical and mental health.

Indians want a clear shift in the handling and perception of mental illness. As many as 64 per cent Indians want the stigma attached with mental health issues to go and they would prefer if it was treated like any other illness. Further, 74 per cent Indians exhort adoption of a more tolerant attitude towards those with mental illness in the society.

Health
A majority of Indians, at 75 per cent, are preoccupied about their physical wellbeing, over mental wellbeing at 62 per cent. Pixabay

The survey also shows a more positive and empathetic change coming about towards those with signs of mental health conditions with 64 per cent urban Indians believe seeing a mental health specialist or therapist, as a sign of strength.

“Indians are recognising that being healthy and well is a combination of both, physical and mental wellbeing and both work in tandem. Also mental health issues are like any other illness and it is alright to see a doctor for alleviating symptoms,” says Monica Gangwani, Executive Director & Country Service Line Leader, Healthcare, Ipsos India.

Indians
Indians want a clear shift in the handling and perception of mental illness. PIxabay

The Ipsos survey found that views around mental health somewhat disjointed and devoid of clear consensus. Aout half of Indians polled (52 per cent), disagree that increased spending on mental health services is a waste of money. However, 27 per cent think it is a wasteful expenditure, while 17 per cent were neutral, 3 per cent were undecided and 1 per cent refused to tender opinion.

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As many as 39 per cent Indians reject exclusion of someone from public office, on the grounds of mental health history, while 32 per cent agree on exclusion, 25 per cent were neutral, 3 per cent undecided and 1 per cent refused an opinion. (IANS)