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County VA Provides Horse Assisted Therapy to Veterans

SAN BERNARDINO – Local veterans will receive equine therapy provided by the San Bernardino County Department of Veterans Affairs after Tuesday’s Board approval.

A grant award by the California Department of Veterans Affairs will fund this non-traditional mental health service that has helped over 100 veterans and family members overcome mental health challenges.

The equine assisted therapy seven-week program is known to address mental health needs that include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and relationship issues.

Therapy sessions are conducted at Buffalo Meadows Ranch in Redlands and delivered by Equus Medendi, a 501(c)3 public charity whose mission is healing with horses.

Bill Moseley, Director of San Bernardino County Department of Veterans Affairs, accredits the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) for these specialized services, “Without the MHSA funding we wouldn’t be able to conduct community outreach, education and provide support to veteran mental health projects around the County. Furthermore, this funding has resulted in new partnerships between the county, state, and federal VA from which our veterans and their families benefit,” said Moseley.

“This program is a testament to the all encompassing approach the County of San Bernardino takes to serving our residents. The key to providing these type of services is reaching out and getting everyone on board to look at a problem and find the right solution,” said Supervisor Josie Gonzales.

As of 2011, there are approximately 114,482 veterans residing in the County of San Bernardino, comprising approximately 5.5 percent of the County’s population according to the 2012 San Bernardino County Community Indicators Report.

For more information on this program and others like it, call the San Bernardino County Department of Veterans Affairs at (909)387-5516.

Source: San Bernardino County Press Release

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