Audeamus Service Dogs has invested time discussing and developing organizational values.
These values serve as anchors for all planning, goal setting, quality and indicator planning, policy development and leadership decision making.
To relieve conditions associated with disability by providing certified, specially trained service dogs and on-going support to people suffering from mental or physical disabilities, with a few to improving their independence as well as their physical and emotional wellbeing. Disabilities served including, but not limited to, brain injured veterans and first responders.
Be Canada’s preeminent service dog provider, based on research and best practice standards, and be the nationally recognized benchmark for standards excellence. Furthermore, preserving and repurposing veteran and first responders’ quality of life through restorative change with the support of service dogs and peer support.
We are committed to developing partnerships that extend the reach and quality of our program.
We provide care with integrity by doing what is right by our volunteers, handlers and canine providers.
Donors and families can trust us.
We will strive to adapt programs and services to provide the most up to date and innovative mechanisms for learning, training and connection for handler care.
We will lead by example and perservere in the face of adverisrty, inclduing advertsitsies that come form living with PTSD, OSI and TBI.
It is our duty to accommodate a variety of abilities and injuries, we do by enacting the other values of collaboration, compassion and innovation.
We work for a spirit of empathy, in all program milestones and assessment instruments, always meeting the handler where they are at.
We will respect the diversity of all handlers and volunteers and treat them equally and with dignity.
We practice good fiscal management, and use of technology to further connections, learning opportunities and service delivery.
Our values statements are organization wide values, that provide a balance and recognizes that there are limitations with volunteers (who may have limited injuries) and handlers who do have varying physical and brain injuries and provide an anchor in each value. Collaboration internally/ externally is a mainstay within the program to develop approaches in learning, development, and organizational structure. Collaboration externally has fostered strong partnerships with experts in various fields and has been instrumental in developing the program and its delivery. Collaboration has fostered a sense of ownership by the volunteers internally which results in a positive environment.
Mattering is an important concept within the AUDEAMUS Service program that is at the core of our program. Alexandria Pavelich, study found having a service dog elicited feelings of mattering among the Veterans, and that this was an important factor in reducing suicide risk. This is seen as an integral component of the connection approach
Mental Health Follow Up
All handlers in the AUDEAMUS Service Dogs program are required to have a mental health professional. We have found this program is very demanding and the support of a clinical professional on the mental health side is critical to the support development and wellbeing of the handler in the program
The AUDEAMUS Service Dogs peer support program is modelled off the CAF and RCMP model. It has been further developed through learning with “Mental Health Innovations” online course. During the latest research recently completed Peer support was shown to be an important aspect of the program and this was reflected in the “toolbox” developed for service dog organizations (See research activity section for more details).
AUDEAMUS Service Dogs peer support is unique and is threaded throughout the program. As the program is connection based the service dog is the conduit to foster connection through training, online, and in person meeting and training, activities and active recovery during in person training.
The human-animal bond (bio-psycho-social-spiritual) and the therapeutic intervention tasks the service dogs are trained in to address the veterans’ PTSD and its relation to their mental health and wellness, and specifically OUD and other problematic substance use (See figure below).