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Safari Day at Cygnet Hospital Derby

The Occupational Therapy team at Cygnet Derby recently arranged a Safari Day for all service users. They welcomed skunks, lizards, bunnies, birds and cockroaches to the hospital who were warmly welcomed by service users and staff who were extremely excited for their arrival.

Some service users were able to overcome some fears and anxieties about animals in the session and there was smiles all around. Adapting to change in the hospital’s routine was a success from all service users that can occasionally find this difficult.

Lindsay Duhra, Occupational therapist at Cygnet Derby, said “It was nice to see the service users’ nurturing and caring aspects of their personality come to light. It was an informative day, they got to learn facts about the animal’s habitats, lifestyles, diets, and characters that they never knew before.”

A lot of staff referred to the service users having pets growing up and explaining how having animal interactions can be a meaningful experience to them. Service users described the activity as ‘exciting’, ‘interesting’ and ‘something different’ and would love to participate in something similar in the future.

Generally animal-human interaction has positive effects on mental health and wellbeing, with studies showing significant reduction in stress hormone levels, increased positive social attention from others and stimulation of social behaviour!

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