Sunderland woman who battled mental health says her dog saved her

Gail Bevan had a long five-year battle with depression. During this period, she bought her dog, Charlie. Gail has now recovered from her depression and has said her dog played a big part in her recovery and actually saved her life.

The 50-year-old from Sunderland said: “I got Charlie about four and a half years ago. I had reservations about getting him, but to be honest he has been an absolute saviour.

“It’s great exercise and walking him helps lower my blood pressure.’’

Surveys have been done throughout the years to suggest owning a pet can actually reduce the chances of suffering from a mental illness.

The NHS in particular have gathered statistics that suggest having a pet can assist a person on their road to recovery.

The main selling point is that doing more exercise influences our mood and walking a dog everyday would make us less likely to suffer from depression.

Although Gail claims having a dog can reduce the chances of depression, she stressed that it’s important to assess the circumstances as a dog may not be the answer to everyone’s needs. Gail said: “They [dogs] aren’t for everybody. It is a big responsibility and financially a dog is expensive.”

In the recent ‘Crufts’ competition, the runner up in the ‘best dog’ category also said her dog Hazel the whippet was a big help with her depression.

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