Mini Horses Offer Free Adult Therapy – NBC Chicago
The horses are mini, but the smiles are big at Barrington Campus Life Center.
“The stress went away immediately,” said Wendy Connolly, a mother and participant in a new program for adults.
Mane in Heaven, a non-profit organization that provides free animal-assisted activities and therapeutic visits to children with disabilities, launched “Ponies for Peace” on Tuesday.
The free event features adult time with miniature horses and mindful meditation.
“How can you not feel better watching these guys,” said Dina Morgan, president of Mane in Heaven.
“It’s the very first one we’ve done. We’re hoping to do it on a monthly basis and really increase our reach so we can help those parents, help the adults. Everyone seems stressed now. They say the next pandemic really is sanity.”
According to the World Health Organization, the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a 25% increase in the prevalence of anxiety and depression worldwide.
“Since the pandemic, it’s changed everything. It’s changed the way we work, the way we play, the way we do everything, the way we go to school,” Morgan said.
According to the Mayo Clinic, animal-assisted therapy can significantly reduce pain, anxiety, and depression.
Mane organizers say their aim is to promote community, trust and calm.
“If we can make parents more resilient and stronger, they’re going to help their families, they’re going to help their kids,” Morgan said.
“That’s what minis do, they spread joy and happiness to everyone,” said Ellen Peter, another participant in the program.
For more information on free adult programs and Mane in Heaven, find the group on social media or Click here.