With the advent of new multimedia platforms, such as YouTube, Instagram, Vimeo, and many more, there are now increasing venues to display images, videos, music, etc. These multimedia platforms have traditionally used for entertainment, news, displaying a message; however, their role in the field of public health is only beginning. In the foreseeable future, they will be increasingly used as venues for public service announcements and education. At the same time, there are many uses that multimedia platforms are not utilized for in public health. The one I am referring to in specifically is in aiding the treatment of people by reducing stress. One such way is using multimedia for therapy pets.
For those who are unaware of therapy pets, it is the use of animals to aid in recovery and stress reduction of ill patients. It is also commonly used in stressful environments, such as schools during exam seasons. Many studies have shown that animals create feelings of well being and can aid in increasing happiness and reducing stress. (For those interested, here is a scientific publication regarding this: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22233395).
So an important campaign to promote is to utilize animals and pets through the form of multimedia platforms to create the same effects. There are both pros and cons to this.
Pros: No maintenance of animals, accessibility, ability to use for those allergic to animals, etc.
Cons: Not enough research whether animals have to be seen in person, time to make videos/take pictures
With that said, my own personal experience is that by seeing a picture of a cute dog or another animal, I am instantly in a better mood. After surveying friends and family, they have all agreed they shared my sentiment. Further research can be done to more accurately prove this. If proven, multimedia use to see cute animals can have a wide variety of purpose. It could be as simple as a public health recommendation to start your day by watching a cute animal video, thus putting you in a better mood and reducing stress.
I will end this post with the following videos. Enjoy!