Equine therapy helps veterans with PTSD
Mental health program gets $150,000 boost
This is hardly an Afghanistan problem
An Alberta program that uses horses in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder in veterans received a $150,000 boost on Monday.
Can Praxis, which runs its equine therapy program on a ranch near Rocky Mountain House, received the donation from Wounded Warriors Canada, an Ontario-based charity focused on veterans’ mental health.
The amount is a dramatic increase from an initial $10,000 Wounded Warriors gave Can Praxis when it started up last year — a recognition, said the charity’s director, that the program works for its participants.
“We took a leap of faith as an organization, to see how this would work,” said Wounded Warriors Canada executive director Scott Maxwell. “The feedback has been nothing short of amazing.”
Can Praxis was started by Steve Critchley, a 28year Canadian Forces veteran who is also trained as a mediator, negotiator and facilitator.
Critchley started Can Praxis with
Jim Marland, a psychologist with experience in equine therapy.
Equine therapy uses horses’ reactions to humans as a means of teaching better self-awareness to program participants.
The issue of mental health in the Canadian Forces has recently been under scrutiny, particularly following the suicides of four soldiers since last November.
“The demand for assistance ... is incredible and across the country,” Maxwell said, adding it affects current military personnel, as well as veterans of past campaigns.
“This is hardly an Afghanistan problem.”
Wounded Warriors’ donation allows veterans from across the country to come to Alberta to attend the Can Praxis program at no cost.
Retired Cpl. Christian McEachern visits with Ureo 5 on Monday as Wounded Warriors Canada makes a donation to Can Praxis, an equine program that helps soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder.