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Therapy dog helped save woman who was considering taking her own life, officials say

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Posted at 4:47 PM, Jun 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-22 16:50:41-04

EXETER, England — A therapy dog in England is being credited with helping to stop a young woman from taking her own life on a bridge over a highway.

The Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said in a thread of tweets that its crews were at the scene over the M5 motorway near Exeter.

The fire department says police negotiators were speaking with the woman, but the situation “was becoming increasingly worrying.”

“One of the fire crews had the idea to bring along Digby, our ‘defusing’ dog,” wrote the department. “Digby helps crews who have been exposed to trauma during talking therapy ‘diffusing’ sessions.”

When Digby arrived at the scene, the department says the woman immediately swung her head around to look at the dog and smiled. Soon, officials say they were discussing Digby and his role with the department.

“She was asked if she would like to come and meet Digby if she came back over the railings, which we are pleased to say she did,” said the department. “We wish the woman involved all the best in her recovery.”

The department went on to advise those in the U.K. who need someone to speak with to contact Samaritans, an organization aimed at providing emotional support to those in distress.

In the United States, if you’re in need of emotional support, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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