This project responds to the current mental health crisis by providing 250 hours of combined therapeutic riding and mental health counseling at our center to 90 youth or young adults in Central NH, giving them the critical help they need to respond to their individual challenges.
Currently, suicide is listed as the second leading cause of death among 10- to 24-year-olds, with 1 in 5 high school students seriously considering attempting suicide. These statistics are particularly alarming as access to mental health resources are severely limited with months-long waiting periods due to shortages. Nationally, these shortages impact more than 150 million individuals, and locally, over 55% of New Hampshire residents currently do not get the help they need.
The SOAR program addresses this challenge in a unique way. Students come in from all across the state to attend a group-based therapeutic riding session, followed by a group mental health counseling session. In this way, our clients get individualized therapy in working with individual horses without a high number of personnel needed, allowing us to provide more help to those in need than traditional therapy.
This project with arm 90 youth with vital mental health tools to help them face the challenges of their lives currently and in the future. Through the combined therapeutic riding and mental health counseling, youth will learn important skills such as confidence, trust, compassion, stress management, and how to set healthy boundaries. With these tools, our youth will be prepared to address any challenges they may face.