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NAMI Collier County offers monthly puppy therapy
Petland in Naples brings puppies to the Sarah Ann Drop-In Center to interact with members
By: NAMI Collier County
"They make members laugh like we haven't heard in a long time," said Kristin Long, NAMI Collier's director of development.
The Center closed in March due to the pandemic and reopened in September. Although support groups were held virtually when the center was closed and NAMI Collier County staff reached out to participants, the isolation was especially hard on people with mental health diagnoses.
"Animals are so great, because they interact unconditionally,"
Being able to cuddle and play with the puppies uplifts moods and brings joy to center participants.
"It helps me and my fellow peers take what's bothering us away for a while," said Gregory Taylor, a Center participant. "They don't have to worry about what we have to worry about."
For more than 25 years, NAMI's Sarah Ann Drop-In Center has been a confidential, accepting and safe environment where people over the age of 18 with a mental health diagnosis can visit daily. The center is managed and operated by people who have a lived experience with mental health diagnoses and recovery oriented.
For more information about the Sara Ann Drop-Inn Center and NAMI Collier County programs, visit http://www.namicollier.org.