This week is Mental Health Awareness Week - and it’s such an important conversation to be part of, because mental health problems are, sadly, very common. In fact, about 1 in 4 people in the UK will suffer a mental health problem in any one year. The most common specific problems are anxiety and depression, but there are of course many, many more. Mental health problems can tear a person apart from the inside. They can cause relationships with families and friends to break down, lead to self harm or suicide, or even exacerbate physical ailments such as heart problems. However, in recent years, there has been a great deal of research on whether pets and companion animals can help prevent, or even manage, mental health problems.