If this is an emergency please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency medical facility. You may also get help by calling the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
Equines for Freedom (EFF) is a nonprofit organization that treats active and former military personnel who are experiencing symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), no matter the source of the trauma. EFF uses one of the most effective treatments available; Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) which offers clients a nontraditional approach to therapy. This therapy combines a licensed mental health professional, a certified equine specialist, and a therapy horse to create a research-based treatment model which strives to resolve emotional difficulties caused by disturbing, difficult, or frightening life experiences. The horse is an integral part of treatment because horses are prey animals and therefore are extremely alert and sensitive to the emotions of those around them. Clients learn to identify their own emotional state by observing the horse’s reactions. The horse also helps the client stay grounded as they process past traumas.
EFF has treated 19 veterans to date including veterans from Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. A common theme among those in treatment is that they have tried everything and nothing has been effective. They often state that this treatment model is the first thing that has really helped. The treatment of these veterans has been extremely successful and therefore we are working to expand to also treat First Responders through a separately funded program.
PTSD is a serious issue that needs everyone’s attention as it is estimated that there are 22 veteran suicides per day due to unresolved emotional difficulties. EFF set out to reduce veteran suicide and has worked diligently to fund well equipped treatment teams. The EFF board of directors is a group of volunteers working tirelessly to find funding through local fund raisers, community support, and a few grants.
To provide equine-assisted PTSD treatment to current and former U.S. service members, regardless of the source of trauma or their characterization of service, at no charge to the service member.