Veteran-founded organisation delivers first assistance dog

Belle is the first psychiatric assistance dog from Integra Service Dogs Australia to be partnered with her veteran handler as part of DVA's Psychiatric Assistance Dog Program.

2 March 2021

The veteran-founded organisation partnered Belle with her new veteran handler and trained them, ensuring that they were a good match. 

'I have greatly appreciated the professionalism and support provided by Integra,' the veteran said. 'They have worked closely with me to match me with a highly suitable and intelligent Labrador dog and developed us as a bonded team.'

Eligible veterans who have a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can access our Psychiatric Assistance Dog program, which is designed to support their current PTSD treatment. 

The program has received positive feedback and has proven to be life-changing by supporting veterans to manage their mental health and wellbeing and achieve their individual recovery goals.

Psychiatric assistance dogs are specially trained to perform tasks that contribute to the clinical recovery goals of their veteran handler, including detecting signs of distress and performing specific tasks to help ease those symptoms.

Veterans currently accessing treatment for PTSD may wish to speak to their mental health professional to see if a psychiatric assistance dog would be a suitable adjunct to treatment. More information can be found on our Psychiatric Assistance Dog Program webpage

A labrador on a lead

Belle