Horses for Mental Health, a 501(c)3 organization, recently announced the involvement of many esteemed equestrians and horse lovers in its “Seen Through Horses Campaign 2023,” brought to you by Zoetis.
Now in its second year, the campaign takes place during May–which is Mental Health Awareness month–and focuses on mental health through horses. Its goal is to increase awareness, public engagement and funding for 55+ nonprofits to improve access to programs incorporating horses for mental health, personal growth and overall well-being. Many of these much-needed programs also provide therapy for anxiety, depression, addiction and PTSD.
Among the celebrities involved in the campaign are two-time Grammy winner and Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Tanya Tucker; Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning songwriter Diane Warren; journalist and award-winning animal advocate Jill Rappaport; and Chilean pro show jumper & South American Games 2022 bronze medalist Gabriela Reutter.
Also joining the effort are 16-year-old Emmy-winning actor Sophie Grace (Kristy Thomas in “The Baby-Sitters Club”); Special Olympics athlete and 62-time gold medalist Shawn Hinz; country music artists Clayton Smalley and Lucas Hoge, who is also the host of the “Hoge Wild” television show; Dalia MacPhee, a fashion designer to both humans and horses; and actor and lifelong horseman Bourke Floyd.
Supporting the campaign again this year are legendary country music artist Randy Travis and recording artist/songwriter Mikayla Lane, 18, a special ambassador to May’s campaign. You can read their stories and more here.
Others sharing personal stories to bring awareness to the healing power of horses will be announced soon.
“We are in a devastating mental health crisis globally, and horses and humans can impact each other to heal and thrive in incredible ways,” says Lynn Thomas, LCSW, president of Horses for Mental Health. “We are excited to work together with industry leaders, practitioners and advocates to amplify awareness and expand resources so all mental health needs can be met.”
No other animals have been as influential on human evolution as horses. Horses are highly intuitive to nonverbal messages and intentions, and as such can reflect aspects of ourselves that can lead to deep healing and connection.
As Jill Rappaport, author of “People We Know, Horses They Love” says, “When you bond with a horse, the relationship is indescribable. You can sense the horse understanding the bond. They get it. They feel it. Just being in their presence can make your woes and worries go away. When I go up to my horse’s side and cradle their heads, I am in heaven, it’s immediate therapy.”
How you can help
Between May 1-May 31, 2023, anyone can choose a nonprofit Charity Partner for which to raise funds. One-time donations can also be made by visiting the campaign website. Join NOW as Horses for Mental Health and its supporters unify to raise funds to continue this trailblazing work.
Produced by Horses for Mental Health, the Equine Network and Arenas for Change (ARCH), and made possible by Premier Sponsor, Zoetis, the campaign is supported by sector-leading Premier Partners the American Horse Council; the American Psychological Association’s Section on Human Animal Interaction (APA HAI); Black in the Saddle; the EQUUS Films & Arts Fest; the Horses & Humans Research Foundation; the Institute for Human-Animal Connection; PATH International; the Polyvagal Equine Institute; Natural Lifemanship; the Temple Grandin Equine Center (CSU); and The HERD Institute.
If horses have impacted your life, mental health or personal journey, please share your story and tag us! To help engage the equestrian community around the world, we encourage you to follow and share posts from @horsesformentalhealth!
#seenthroughhorses #horsesformentalhealth #mentalhealth #horseshelpinghumans
Media Contact: Tyler Brklacich, [email protected]