Equine therapy for a healthy mind and heart

7 months 1 week 21 hours ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 Wednesday, February 19, 2020 9:20:00 AM CST February 19, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
Source: NBC
By: Hope Beitchman, KOMU 8 Producer

Loxahatchee, FL According to the national institute of mental health, nearly one in five people in the United States live with mental illness. 

One organization in Florida is using horse therapy to help keep minds and hearts healthy. Patrick McNamara goes to the Dovecot Farm in Loxahatchee Groves before heading into the office. McNamara is the president and CEO of Palm Health Foundation; for him, it is a time for them to step away from his busy and stressful lives for self-care, by petting and talking to the horses. 

"Studies have shown that most of us do not cope well with workplace stress. And that there are many different things that employers can do to improve brain health of their employees," said Patrick McNamara.

The Palm Health Foundation is hoping business leaders will pass on to their employees what they have learned at the farm. 

"If we are going to encourage more of a culture of health and more of a culture of brain health within the work place, it starts from the top," said McNamara. 

Sarah Palmer, the owner of Dovecot Farms, says one of the goals of the farm is learning to have compassion for others. 

"Learning better relationship skills social skills, all of these components can be achieved by working with horses. And by doing heart-based breathing techniques," said Palmer.

The Palm Health Foundation has also made a wellness kit for participants.

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