In April 2018 the Tamworth Rugby Club raised $10,000 for headspace. Mr Fergus Fitzsimons, CEO of Centacare NENW, wanted something tangible to show for this amazing fundraising effort. “The response to the fundraising effort was overwhelming and we believed that a facility dog would be a wonderful investment to provide a comfortable environment for young people to visit headspace and discuss their mental health concerns” said Mr Fitzsimons.
Facility dogs are designed to work within the facility setting, that is, stay in the wait rooms, be in session rooms, or schools or with workers to sit there, be petted and be a calming presence. This reduces symptoms of anxiety and increases rapport with workers.
headspace purchased a Tamaruke, a purpose breed that is hypo-allergenic and are loyal, friendly and intelligent. This a perfect fit for a therapeutic environment and he was given the name ‘Pavlov’ by the staff at headspace. One of the Youth Care Coordinators is responsible for looking after Pavlov full time, ensuring that he remains a happy, healthy part of the headspace team.
Pavlov undertook 7 months of training in Queensland to ensure he was ready to help the young people who attend headspace Tamworth. He will help to reduce blood pressure and heart rate, reduce symptoms of anxiety, increase motivation, stimulate memory and problem solving, and generally make young people more comfortable.
Centacare NENW would like to take this opportunity to thank the Tamworth Rugby Club and its fans for their generous donation and support of headspace and Centacare NENW in improving the mental health of young people in our community.