Congressman Andy Barr (Kentucky) has been a wonderful advocate for equine-assisted services, and in particular mental health services incorporating horses to treat PTSD for veterans. He recently led an amendment to transfer “…$5 million from the VHA’s Medical Community of Care Account to the VHA’s Medical Services account for the explicit use for equine assisted therapy within the VA’s Adaptive Sports Grant (ASG) Program, given the promising results reported using equine assisted therapy for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.”
Eagala has been participating in the Veterans Administration Adaptive Sports Grant and has been collecting program data, thanks to the great work of Eagala Military Services designated programs, to support and show the positive outcomes the Eagala services have been achieving. This research directly impacted and was indicated by Rep. Barr in this amendment to support this important work.
Rep. Barr attended the Congressional Horse Caucus which was held during the Eagala Conference in Lexington, Kentucky, February 29th of this year, where Eagala attendees were honored to have him participate in an Eagala session. Eagala leaders also presented on the value of this model in supporting the mental health of veterans and other mental health issues including addictions, suicide prevention, and rural mental health needs.
While the U.S. House of Representatives has passed this amendment, it now goes to the U.S. Senate.
We urge all of our U.S. members to contact your state Senators asking them to include help for veterans with PTSD by providing $5 million for psychotherapy incorporating horses in the VA’s Adaptive Sports Grant as part of the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs appropriations bill.
To find out who your US Senators are, go to www.senate.gov. There are multiple ways to contact your Senators – through their website and calling. You may phone the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the Senate office you request. Be prepared to give your address, email and phone number. Think about if you are calling on your own behalf or as a business.
Thank you for your help!