MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT
CBUK understands how incredibly difficult it can be at times, when learning of any animal cruelty and suffering.
If you also have a mental health condition, and/or have recently experienced an emotional or traumatic life event, it can feel overwhelming.
For those diagnosed with a mental health condition, you could seek support from your community mental health practitioner (if you have one). You can speak to them confidently about how you’re feeling.
It’s important when struggling to speak to a trained mental health professional. If you feel able to, family and friends can also be a good source of support.
You’re not alone if you’re having negative thoughts and we ALL can struggle at times so, it’s important to reach out for help & support, especially from a qualified professional.
If you don’t have someone you feel comfortable to talk to, you can speak to your GP, or contact a helpline:
- Samaritans call: 116 123
- Call CALM (5pm - midnight 365 days a year): 0800 58 58 58
- Under 35s can call Papyrus (9am - midnight): 0800 068 41 41
- You can text Papyrus: 07860 039967
- Or there’s the Shout crisis text line… text the word: ‘SHOUT’ to 85258
- Call your GP for an emergency appointment, call 111 if out of GP hours or contact your mental health crisis team - if you have one.
Remember how you’re feeling will pass, and you’re not alone!
Remember there may not be any signs, as a person may be masking how they feel. Asking someone in a safe environment (free of interruptions) can be what they need to be open about how they’re feeling. (Please note that careful consideration must be taken as to the person’s age, understanding and situation).
Always seek professional advice and support, especially for yourself too, if you’re supporting someone else.
Asking someone if they’re having suicidal thoughts, does NOT put the idea into their mind.
Asking can save lives!
Any information shared by CBUK regarding mental health is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Nor is it a substitute for therapy. Always seek the advice from a qualified professional.
Whilst we will review and update any useful resources, such as helpline information, we do not guarantee that they are always up to date. Nor that they are the correct service provider for any individual case.
CBUK is not responsible for any resources or information from other agencies.
ANIMAL & HUMAN MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS IN BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH
The biomedical research community does its best to hide the awful things it does to animals, but there is still sufficient evidence of the psychological and physical trauma those animals endure. What is less discussed both within and outside the animal rights community, is the trauma many researchers experience as a result of carrying out those atrocities against animals.
The victims—rats, mice, dogs, cats, nonhuman primates, rabbits, guinea pigs, sheep, pigs, among others—live in a perpetual state of terror, loneliness, and boredom. They are confined in small, barren cages or containers. They are either overcrowded or isolated. They are often subjected to horrific tortures—poisoning, shocking, burning, drowning, cutting and organ harvesting (and many other unimaginable procedures).
Many animals such as nonhuman primates subjected to these or other experimental procedures exhibit symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A recent article in Scientific American, for example, discusses how “retired” chimpanzees used for HIV, hepatitis, and behavioural experiments are being formally diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety disorder, and depression. The animals are so traumatized from years, often decades, of repeated “darting” (injection), confinement, lack of stimulation or the ability to express natural behaviours, fear, social isolation, loneliness, premature separation from mothers, among many other torments, that even once they are removed from labs and housed in sanctuaries, they cannot be integrated with other chimpanzees.
Trauma is not limited to nonhuman primates, of course. Mice, rats, cats, dogs, rabbits, and other laboratory animals are also emotionally, cognitively, and psychologically complex. Like nonhuman primates, they are profoundly damaged as a result of the perpetual confinement, deprivation, and physical violation to which they are subjected. Like their nonhuman primate counterparts, animals confined to cages exhibit symptoms of trauma such as aggression, depression, and self-harm.
This may be controversial to some but it's important that people are also made aware of the harm animal research causes to researchers themselves. Researchers are not necessarily bad people. Most are involved in scientific research to improve human and animal health. But, despite the good intentions which inspired them to pursue their research, they are trained to compartmentalize the animals they research on separately from the animals they lavish affection on at home, and to do bad things to innocent creatures under the presumption that anything is permissible in the name of science.
In order to able to carry out cruel experiments on animals, researchers must repress any natural feelings of sympathy, empathy, and compassion they might otherwise have for animals suffering psychological and physical torment. While many researchers are able to desensitize themselves successfully, many are not and end up with what is now called Perpetration-Induced Traumatic Stress (PITS). These researchers are comparable to soldiers who are trained to kill other human beings, but are scarred by the wounds they inflict on others.
Trauma is not limited to researchers who experiment on nonhuman primates or animals who have human-like cognitive capacities. Researchers who experiment on rats and other animals are also deeply emotionally distressed by their work. It is clear that the cause of researchers’ trauma is the fact that they are torturing fellow sentient beings, beings with whom they could potentially form deep emotional bonds, beings who in other circumstances might offer affection, friendship, loyalty, and uncomplicated devotion.
While our first concern must be the animal victims, we should not forget that there is a human cost to animal experimentation too.