Richmond, MA – October 2019, Berkshire HorseWorks Inc., which provides EAGALA Model Equine Assisted Learning and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy services for at-risk youth, veterans, families and individuals with mental health and behavioral challenges has secured a $7,500.00 grant from the Berkshire Life Charitable Foundation, according to Hayley Sumner, Founder and Executive Director of the 501(c)3. This grant will help extend the “Family Integration” program to five more families throughout the County in the coming year. Since opening its doors Berkshire Horse Works has served over 800 constituents in need.

The Family Integration program is specifically designed for Berkshire County individuals and families struggling with ADHD, depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, Autism, sexual abuse, Reactive Attachment Disorder or other developmental diagnoses. In order to be included in the program, the referring clinician must feel as though the individual’s diagnosis impairs functioning during the most basic daily activities and that the client would benefit from Equine Assisted Psychotherapy as part of their treatment plan. This program is designed to be an adjunct to or replacement for traditional talk therapy in cases where traditional modalities were not effective or were discontinued.

The eight-week curriculum addresses core disabilities within the context of the larger family structure. The program is specifically designed not only to treat individuals suffering from mental health and behavioral challenges, but also to educate, integrate, and create appropriate, working support structures within the family to benefit each member individually and the unit as a whole, for both traditional and non-traditional family systems. Berkshire HorseWorks also offers Equine Assisted Team Building to organizations of all kinds including Mountain One, Mass Mutual Insurance, Bain Capital, Canyon Ranch and Berkshire Meadows. A portion of the proceeds from the corporate development initiatives is earmarked to help fund the programs for those at risk in our community.

Individuals served by the Family Integration program are referred to Berkshire HorseWorks by any of the following agencies: Berkshire County Sheriff’s Department, Berkshire Children and Families, the Brien Center, Volunteers in Medicine, Department of Children and Families, Department of Youth Services, and the Elizabeth Freeman Center. In addition, adjustment counselors from the Berkshire school districts identify and refer those in their schools who have Independent Education Plans and are struggling both socially and academically.

“We are so appreciative of the support from the Berkshire Life Charitable Foundation. Their generosity has allowed us to focus on what we do best -- using horses in the healing process for those that need it most,” shared Sumner. "By providing funds to Berkshire HorseWorks Inc., the Foundation continues to help support programs addressing the needs of Berkshire County residents battling physical or developmental disabilities,” said Foundation President Alycia Sacco Duquette.

Individuals served by the Family Integration program are referred to Berkshire HorseWorks by any of the following agencies: Berkshire County Sheriff’s Department, Berkshire Children and Families, the Brien Center, Volunteers in Medicine, Department of Children and Families, Department of Youth Services, and the Elizabeth Freeman Center. In addition, adjustment counselors from the Berkshire school districts identify and refer those in their schools who have Independent Education Plans and are struggling both socially and academically.

You can learn more about the various therapeutic programs this grant will be supporting by going here.

(press release sent to WSBS from Berkshire HorseWorks for online and on-air use)