Hudson Behavioral Health’s Sam the Support Dog Brings Joy and Healing to Those in Treatment and Recovery

SamtheDog

Rescue Pup Helps Patients and Staff Celebrate Success During National Recovery Month & All Year Long

When Sam enters the room at one of Hudson Behavioral Health’s Treatment Houses, people can’t help but notice. This bright-eyed ‘good boy’ wearing his “Goes Purple” bandana always gets attention. Adopted from a local rescue as a puppy, Sam is a four-year-old mixed breed dog who provides emotional support and laughter to patients in Hudson’s treatment housing program.

“Sam is a joy and a comfort for our patients,” said Mental Health Therapist Kerry L. Turner, MSW, LCSW-C, CAC-AD of Hudson. “The role of animals, especially dogs, in mental health treatment is well documented. They increase optimism, lower stress levels, and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. All of which are supportive in the recovery process.”

Sam’s naturally calm and friendly demeanor, as well as his completion of an AKC Canine Good Citizen program, uniquely qualifies him to work at Hudson. He enjoys his weekly visits to “work” and is always happy to be petted, gently receive treats, sit and give his paw, or show off his favorite orange ball. His presence breaks down barriers and opens the door for great conversation.

September is National Recovery Month andNational Suicide Awareness Month. As the region participates in the “Go Purple” campaign to raise awareness about substance misuse and abuse, it’s important to remember as the talk turns to “problems” that success can be attained.

“It’s critical for people to see that not only is help available, but that recovery is possible,” said Hudson CEO Leslie Brown. “We treat thousands of people a year in our 30-day Main Campus program with up to six months of follow-up at our treatment houses. Many people go on to rejoin

their families, hold a job and participate in the community. Innovative programs such as having access to our support dog, Sam, helps people regain strength and confidence.”

 

Hudson is participating in several events this month, including the Wicomico Goes Purple Night of Hope at the Salisbury Amphitheater on September 30, where they will provide inspirational mataerials and premiums at their display. Additionally, Hudson sponsored the Tri-County Goes Purple Kick-Off at Shorebirds Stadium and The Walk for Overdose Awareness, both held in late August.

Hudson Behavioral Health was founded in 1980 and is licensed to operate in both Maryland and Delaware. The nonprofit is accredited by The Joint Commission, receiving its Gold Seal of Approval. To learn more about Hudson’s innovative programs, visit www.hudsonhealth.org or call 410-219-9000 for 24/7/365 help and information.

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