Tuesday June 25, 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)

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Less Sleep Can Create Mental Health Problems in Students: Study

With every additional night of insufficient sleep, the risk of experiencing mental health symptoms increased

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Sleep, Mental Health, Students
"It was really surprising to see how strongly insufficient sleep was associated with a wide variety of mental health symptoms among college students. Pixabay

Insufficient sleep is associated with a wide range of mental health issues such as anxiety, self-harm and suicide ideation among students and athletes, according to a study.

Published in the journal Sleep, the study analysis involved 110,496 students, out of which 8,462 were athletes.

“It was really surprising to see how strongly insufficient sleep was associated with a wide variety of mental health symptoms among college students,” said lead author Thea Ramsey from the University of Arizona in the US.

With every additional night of insufficient sleep, the risk of experiencing mental health symptoms increased on average by more than 20 per cent.

Sleep, Mental Health, Students
Insufficient sleep is associated with a wide range of mental health issues. Pixabay

The risk also increased by 21 per cent for depressed mood, 24 per cent for hopelessness, 24 per cent for anger, 25 per cent for anxiety, 25 per cent for desire to self-harm, 28 per cent for functional problems and 28 per cent for suicide ideation.

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“The fact that sleep health was so strongly related to mental health is important since the majority of college students don’t get the recommended amount needed for optimal health and functioning,” said Michael Grander from the varsity. (IANS)