Depression and Anxiety can be debilitating Mental Health crises when they occurs in a young person's life. This project offers therapeutic riding to 10 young (ages 5 to 19) children who suffer from mental health challenges. Riders will be offered 3 month's of lessons free of charge.
As many as 55,756 children ages 5 to 19 living in NH have a diagnosable mental health disorder, and nearly 14,000 have a serious emotional disturbance, according to "Children's Mental Health Services in NH" by Susan Covert. We would offer scholarships to Lillian and children ages 5 to 19 with depression and other mental health challenges. Referrals from therapists, MD's, schools and other stake-holders would be sought to provide each of 10 clients with 12 weeks of lessons.
Encouraging emotional connection with horses has been documented to aid in improving mental health and resilience in children and adults. Horses do not judge, but do demand respect for their size and sheer physical presence. Cooperating with a horse allows children to gain self-esteem, a feeling of power, and ability to expand their communication skills, which can lead to improved communication of their feelings, needs, and desires.
We will provide quality equine activities to 10 children with mental health and/or emotional difficulties, teaching them safe ways of interacting and communicating with horses, and thereby transferring their new-found skills to the arena of communicating with others in their lives. Advocating for one's self, especially as a child, is a skill that can be taught, and can change the conversation of mental health and emotional growth.