GOODYEAR, AZ — A mother-daughter duo in Goodyear is hoping to help those struggling with mental health by providing therapy companions.
Savanna and Georgie Palafox have a patent pending for Exceptional HEROES -- therapeutic devices in the shape of animals.
Savanna says it was her own personal tragedy that led her to want to help others struggling with mental health. The 22-year-old, who studied psychology and human development at Colorado State University, says she is a sexual assault survivor.
Following the trauma, she relied on her therapy animals, called Exceptional HEROES, to help her with PTSD.
“Monroe actually saved my life when I was in college after my sexual assault,” she said.
“He helped me and he was my hero the whole time, and he helps exceptional people so it just only fit to have Exceptional HEROES as the name,” said Savanna.
The pair worked with mental health professionals using different technologies to create the companions. The device will simulate five of the seven senses and will help those with emotional or mental conditions including anxiety, autism, and ADHD.
The devices also are weighted for pressure therapy to help manage anxiety and other similar disorders. Monroe, the rabbit, is four pounds and Shelby is an eight-pound dog.
Exceptional HEROES explains on its website the health benefits.
“The multi-therapeutic techniques within Exceptional HEROES™ improve emotional and cognitive functions through four primary sensory channels – audial (sound), olfactory (smell), tactile (touch), and proprioceptive (body awareness). They are supported by the fifth channel – visual (sight). The friendly appearance, the soft, plush exterior of our devices is inspired and modeled after real-live animals. Such semblance can inspire trust and enhance communication, which is extremely important for children and adults with sensory processing differences.”
The product is expected to be available at the beginning of 2022.
As for Savanna, part of her healing is helping others, and she hopes that her companions will help others struggling.
“There’s hurting people out there, there’s a lot of hurting people, we didn’t have anybody when she came home,” said Savanna’s mother, Georgie.
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