Founder of Go Fetch Wellness shares his mental health journey

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Jeff Fink says his journey with mental health started more than a decade ago. At the time, he was suffering in silence.

Fink said, "For all those times of struggle, I never spoke up. I lived in shame, and guilt, and silence, and the pain of living a double life and trying to act like you're okay but not feel okay, really contributed to the severity of my disease."

He says, "For over 17 years of my life, I tried many traditional and non-traditional treatments."

After trying treatment after treatment, Fink was given another suggestion: to get a psychiatric service dog.

That's where Earl comes in.

Fink says, "I got Earl a little under 6 years ago. He came from Nashville, Tennessee. I got him to train him as a psychiatric service dog. By that point in time, I suffered from extreme depression and anxiety. I thought, 'I am so desperate to stay alive I got to get something and try something.'"

Since then, Earl has changed Fink's life.

He says, "Now with Earl's help, I'm feeling calmer and more confident with him. "

Fink says that Earl has helped in ways he never could have imagined. "He helps me get out of my repetitive thoughts and that repetitive beating myself up mentality. If I am kind of starting to lose my way in my head, I will look at him and I will just be calm. He connects me with people that care about dogs, that care about animals."

This is something he hopes to share with others through his organization Go Fetch Wellness.

"I believe that animals can really help change lives for others," says Fink.

Fink says, "Now it is my passion it is my life dream to change the way we look at mental health really considering the whole person as part of the approach. I am encouraging people to not live in isolation like I did... really reach out for help."

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