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Free Horse Therapy for COVID-19 Essential Workers Press Release

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

As the State of Michigan is cautiously reopening after Governor Whitmer rescinded the safer at home order, Equine Assisted development is moving forward with phase 2 of their plan as part of the $10 Gives Hope Mental Health Awareness Challenge to provide free structured therapy sessions to essential workers impacted by COVID-19.

These equine therapy events will include 2-3 exercises with the horses. These events are an opportunity for essential workers to be renewed with others in their professional spheres and release stress, tension and overwhelm.

“From the beginning, EAD's mission has been to help those in our local community. Serving essential workers and helping them process the mental, physical and emotional toll that COVID-19 has had in recent months is our immediate goal. These events have been created to say thank you to the many who have served our local community so well.”– Deb VanderBand, Executive Director

Equine Assisted Development utilizes the EAGALA Model, the golden leader for equine-assisted psycho-therapy and personal development. What is EAGALA equine therapy?

Events are bi-weekly (Tuesday mornings and Thursday evenings) starting June 16 through July 16, 2020. Equine Assisted Development will adhere to the recommended 6 feet social distancing protocol throughout the sessions and require participants bring and wear masks for the duration of the experience. Sessions are open for 8 participants per event, as 2 facilitators (a certified horse specialist and a licensed mental health provider) will be present to conduct the therapy sessions.

Events are catered to the following professions:

Christian Ministries & Non-profits | June 16 - 9am - 10:30am

Abuse Victim Advocates | June 18 - 6:30pm - 8pm

Medical Professionals | June 23 - 9am - 10:30am

Assisted Living Caregivers | June 25 - 6:30pm - 8pm

Corporate & Small Business Owners | June 30 - 9am - 10:30am

Military (Active, Reserve & Veteran) | July 2 - 6:30pm - 8pm

First Responders (Fire, Police & EMT) | July 7 - 9am - 10:30am

Mental Health Providers | July 9 - 6:30pm - 8:30pm FULL

School Educators | July 14 - 9am - 11:00am

CPS Workers & Supervisors | July 16 - 6:30pm - 8pm

Recent Features:

Please note: Registrations are limited to 8 participants per event For alternative event date(s) or time(s) or to schedule a private therapy session for your organization’s staff, please call 616-318-4919. For questions and/or media coverage, email

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