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Psychiatric Service Dog Partners

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Disabilities, Disabled Persons Rights

Mission: Psychiatric Service Dog Partners’ purpose is to promote the mental health of people using service dogs for psychiatric disabilities by educating, advocating, providing expertise, facilitating peer support, and promoting responsible service dog training and handling.

Results: In line with community members’ priorities in our 2016 survey results, by 9/13/17 we: • updated our online peer guidance group to serve the individualized needs of 214 members (down from 271 last year, after an extensive “Summer Cleaning” and list migration—was 173 in 2015). We reached the technical limits of our old host and had to find a new host that could meet our active community’s demands! • expanded our website to have over 160 pages (from 130 last year), with almost 600,000 pageviews and over 300,000 visitors. Our site had an average Google search position of 1–2.0 for 1125 different search queries (from 357 last year). • hosted a convivial convention in Rock Hill, SC, with an average session rating of 4.836 out of 5 (up from 4.741 last year) and comments like: "PSDP Convention is a great way to grow as a service dog team. Yes, I was nervous going but the benefits sure outweighed the challenges of my MI. Everyone was so welcoming and understanding." • advocated with community help on many fronts. PSDP has become more involved with international advocacy, encouraging Canada to do the right thing by service dog users. This involvement includes engaging the USAUSA coalition to put the power of other organizations behind causes we care about. • partnered with other groups to provide relief to those affected by major hurricanes • started a project to encourage service-dog-related art therapy through social media (#PSDPrompt)

Target demographics: people with disabilities, the general public, businesses, and government agencies

Direct beneficiaries per year: approx. 214 peer guidance group members and even more direct public contact requests for information. Our website garners around half a million pageviews a year, which is incredibly high for our niche!

Geographic areas served: primarily the United States, but we also advise and support those in other countries (historically, Canada, the UK, Australia, and Germany)

Programs: diverse outreach activities (public and corporate education), an amazing annual service dog convention, a website at the vanguard of service dog related education, and an intensive peer guidance system that dramatically promotes disability mitigation, life engagement, and responsible service dog handling.

Community Stories

53 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PSDP and my SD(s) have saved my life. I am on my third service dog and have been with The organization since its beginning. I love being a part of the PSDP community. Even as an experienced handler, I still learn and grow more everyday. It's hard for me to make friends, but I consider everyone on the Listserv my friend, and that's a lot of wonderful people! Before my SD, I couldn't even go to the grocery store. Now I travel and go on wonderful adventures with my SD by my side. Thank you PSDP for helping me get my life back!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I found this group through(of all places) Facebook. The information they give is amazing. I have also been having ups & down & participating in the email list has been extremely helpful. I also went to their convention(a major win for me). The people were wonderful, understanding & I had a great time. It is nice to be with friends that understand the issues that I have.

4 Nick65

Client Served

Rating: 5

I don't remember exactly how I stumbled across Psychiatric Service Dog Partners, but I'm sure it while I was researching stuff about connecting the dots between a T.B.I, P.T.S.D., and training my own Service-dog, in 2014.
Suffice it to say P.S.D.P. was, and continues to be, a great resource on educating myself about what the American's with Disabilities Act has to say about Psychiatric Service-Dogs, the law both federal and in my home state, and just as important MY responsibilities as the leader of my Service-Dog team.
Veronica was also helpful pointing me towards some YouTube videos that were indispensable in helping me to train Tanka, and to dispel some unreasonable expectations I had, about exactly how a Service-Dog should do it's job.
In my mind Tanka would have to just about be able to balance on a beach-ball, while juggling my car-keys and cell-phone, AND be able to tell me when a cyclone was about to hit! (I know, I'm a bit nuts in my expectations!)
Tanka has become a very well trained, and useful tool in alleviating some of my P.T.S.D. symptoms while out in public, especially shopping.......or going to bok-kai festival, hiking, the fair, post office.......and he does his job void of a beach-ball!
That's it!
Thanks Veronica, and everyone over at P.S.D.P. for working on my behalf, to improve the standard of living for those of us suffering psychiatric-illness, and using a Service-Dog as a healing tool.
Hugs.....

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

PSDP is a life saver. Without the help in understanding the laws, training, etiquette and more, about owner trained service dogs there would be many many people who would be completely alone in the process. Luckily PSDP can help all of these people through the whole process of learning and training and becoming not only a successful service dog user but also help them become healthier and happier and more successful human beings because of the work our dogs do for us!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Psychiatric Service Dog Partners is a wonderful, grassroots, organization dedicate to advocacy, education and support of those of us living with mental illness and using a service dog to mitigate our disabilities.

One thing I most respect about this organization is their dedication to accuracy and knowing the laws that support the use of psychiatric service dogs. There are a lot of websites out there that tell people what they want to hear, simply to make a sale. In many instances, the items they sell ARE NOT REQUIRED in any way. PSDP stands above the rest and I always know that the information I get from their site is factual.

3 Justin43

Client Served

Rating: 5

I reviewed these guys last year, but since I am now only a few weeks away from picking up my first ever service dog in training wanted to rave on them again. Everyone has been so wonderfully supportive, caring and giving of their time as I anxiously walk through the process. From training tips to input on suitable vests, collars, leashes, and patches they have been extremely patient and more than helpful in allaying my fears. I highly recommend them as the go to site for support and accurate up to date information regarding psychiatric service dogs.

Previous Stories
5

Client Served

Rating: 5

I found PSDP when I was in a very dark place. I had lost my career, my home and much of my hope. I had decided that I would pursue using a service dog to help me in my recovery. I found PSDP by accident and am extremely glad I did so. I have been a member of the online support group since this spring and have found the level of wisdom, courage and support shared among members invaluable. I also serve on the board of our local NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and recently gave a talk on psychiatric service dogs at our monthly meeting. I drew heavily from the information on the PSDP webpage as well as the stories of hope and recovery members of the support group were willing to share. To me PSDP is an integral part of the light that brings me hope especially during my darkest days.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

My service dog partner has been an incredible assistance to my life. I'm in my 30's and had not been able to live alone since my diagnosis at 21. I wanted to do a masters program, but I had to go away alone, and I knew I'd need more help to live independently, so I started looking for a service dog. I found absolutely no support in my local region, and all training agencies told me specifically that due to capacity reasons, they don't train for mental health conditions.

I found an independent trainer who was willing to work with us on this project, and we did our best.

When I found psych service dog partners, a lot changed for me. I have learned about how to fine tune my training, how to be respectful of others in public spaces, and many other dog related issues.

I have also found a community of people, for the first time in my life, that understands and supports me. Through the listserv, there are always people available to share my frustrations at being disabled, to listen to, to talk to. This has meant more to me than I can say.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer to help this extremely worthwhile non-profit, PSDP, because, as a handler trainer of my third psychiatric service dog (SD), I get the opportunity to pay back to the community all that I have learned. As a mental health consumer, I value finding and sharing correct information about service dog law, and tips on dealing with the issues arising from use of a SD. Using my PSD has allowed me to heal from my PTSD to the extent that I have a fairly normal life, as long as I have my dog with me to mitigate my symptoms. The support and shared knowledge of this group is amazing!

3

Donor

Rating: 5

PSDP is a 'great nonprofit.' They are a small organization, yet very active and focused on serving their community in many ways. My experience with them has made me a fan and proponent for their support. I would encourage others to lend their support to PSDP, too, and to be confident it's a wise choice. Thanks.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

Psychiatric Service Dog Partners (PSDP) has been the backbone of my continuing use of an owner-trained service dog for psychiatric disabilities. I am able to stay in touch about applicable laws and practices, obtain training ideas if needed and refer the general public to the very informative web site for information.

PSDP also works to reach out to people who might benefit from using a service dog to mitigate psychiatric disabilities by making public presentations. I am interested in advocacy and PSDP keeps me in touch with current issues.

6 bwmorris

Board Member

Rating: 5

PSDP helps swaths of society and deserves your support! I am a vigorous volunteer, totally unabashed in asking you to please join me in leaving a legacy of investing in the public good.

I am among many who love this group and its mission. I do not have a psychiatric disability (merely physical), but I dedicate all my volunteer abilities to making sure this group has fantastically accurate and helpful resources that are available to all with a potential interest in psychiatric service dogs, or even just in service dog use in general.

I so often hear stories of the very real impact PSDP has in people's lives that it's easy to stay motivated to keep this group helping more and more. This is the stuff that inspires passionate kindheartedness. Feel good giving, indeed—no other group compares!

6 Avery R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This group was instrumental in getting me the help I needed. I now am in the process of training a valuable service dog that I would have never even considered otherwise. My life has significantly improved and PDSP facilitated my healing process.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have had a psychiatric service dog for 5 years now. I wouldn't be able to hold a job without one. Psychiatric Service Dog Partners is a tremendous support to me. I don't know if I would have been able to get through some of the difficulties of having a service dog without the group to support me with their encouragement and information. I have chosen to donate to them financially. This organization does save lives.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

Having a Service Dog has changed my life completely. Agoraphobia kept me trapped inside my home for 4 years until I discovered how a Psychiatric Service Dog could help me. Training a Service Dog is not an easy task but with an organization like PSDP to provide education and support it can be much easier. PSDP has a very comprehensive website with information about everything related to service dogs. Articles such as Selecting a Service Dog Prospect, to info about the ADA laws, that protect our rights to have our dogs are all available on the website. There is also a listserv that is like an email support group for people who are partnered with Psychiatric Service Dogs. I have not come across another organization that offers so much information and assistance to people who are often taking their very first steps toward having a fuller life, by having a Service Dog by their side.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the most accurate and helpful websites for PSDs. Also a wonderful support group!

7 Veronica28

Board Member

Rating: 5

Psychiatric Service Dog Partners is a peer directed group that supports and educates about psychiatric service dogs. The free online support group (listserv) is awesome, with lots of helpful people guiding others through the psychiatric service dog journey. The website is outstanding! Pretty much anything you ever wanted to know about psychiatric service dogs is covered on the website. PSDP also is heavily involved in legislation and education of others about psychiatric service dogs. If you want to stay up to date with the latest legislation, PSDP always posts about opportunities to make your voice heard with respect to proposed legislation.