Ninety per cent of Australians say their pets play a role in supporting their mental health.
The research by Medibank Pet Insurance of more than 1000 people nationally, found that 92 per cent of women surveyed and 88 per cent of men surveyed feel their pets have a psychological benefit.
Almost 50 per cent of Australians will have a mental health issue in their lifetime but 54 per cent will not access any treatment.
31-year-old Sarah Dean has a Golden Retriever and believes Louie brings happiness, joy and unconditional love to her life.
“Juggling a high stress job and caring for a 15-month-old son can be tough, so coming home to Louie who is happy to see me, makes it easy to get through those challenging times.
“He makes me feel comforted and supported, gets me out for a daily walk and gives me a chance to take my mind off life’s pressures,” she said.
Medibank’s findings are backed up by a recent UK study which found that 60 per cent of participants placed their pets in the central circle of support when given a diagram to illustrate their support network. A further 20 per cent put their pet in the second circle.
Medibank Chief Customer Officer David Koczkar said Western Australia topped the list of states that identified a link between their pet and their mental health.
“We know Australians have a special bond with their pets and it’s no surprise to find they play a role in supporting our mental health,” he said.
“The Medibank research found that 94 per cent of Western Australians surveyed said they believe their pet supported their mental health, followed by 93 per cent in Tasmania, 90 per cent in Victoria, 89 per cent in NSW/ACT and QLD/NT and 88 per cent in South Australia.”
It also revealed that people aged between 18 and 28 were the most likely to recognise the mental health benefits of having pets along with 98 per cent of single parents with children living at home.
If Medibank customers with hospital cover are looking for extra support with mental health issues, they can contact our round-the-clock Mental Health Phone Support line on 1800 644 325.
Medibank Pet Insurance provides owner’s with peace of mind, that their pet will get the healthcare they need after an accident or if they’re struck down by illness.