CLARKS SUMMIT, LACKAWANNA CO. (WOLF) — A local nonprofit called Equines for Freedom held a fundraiser today to raise money to support a program that helps both veterans and first responders who are suffering from PTSD.
Hundreds of people gathered today at Marley's Mission Pavilion in Clarks Summit to show their support for their local veterans and first responders.
“Equines for Freedom is a free program to veterans and first responders, which is an EAEMDR program. So, its horse assisted program, where the there's a horse, a therapist, and a horse specialist in the arena with the client. And it is a premier treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder,” said Brenda Goodrich, Board of Directors, Equines for Freedom.
“I think it's important that you know, maybe the mental struggles that some of our veterans are facing know what they deal with when they take that uniform off and finding that new purpose once again, and also just the struggles they faced with post-traumatic stress or whatever it may be when they come home, it takes some time. For some of them, the battle never, never ends,” said Earl Granville, US Army, and motivational speaker.
“The EMDR is the therapy we use to treat the PTSD and the horse is a grounding mechanism to keep you in the present. It keeps you from bouncing around in the past through the memories of PTSD,” said Hawthorne, who is a retired vet and graduate of the program.
“It took me about 27 sessions to go through to get from being anti-social and a little combative with people to being more laid back and accepting and willing to talk to people and show enjoyed things again,” said Hawthorne.
This treatment costs around $5,000 and money from the fundraiser goes towards providing these services for free to vets and first responders.
“We do not charge, we do not bill any kind of insurance companies for copays so it doesn't get reported against them. So, nobody knows you really have to go to therapy. Your work doesn't have to know because you're not going to go to insurance, employers don't have to know, It's great for veterans and first responders, you can't beat it,” said Hawthorne.