The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen is launching an initiative to provide horse-assisted therapy to frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic (Black Press file photo)

The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen is launching an initiative to provide horse-assisted therapy to frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic (Black Press file photo)

Community Foundation of South Okanagan Similkameen to provide horse-assisted therapy

Therapy sessions will be offered to frontline workers during ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen is launching an initiative to provide horse-assisted therapy to frontline workers in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiative involves people interacting with horses as a way to release anxiety, stress and mental strain.

READ ALSO: Community Foundation of South Okanagan Similkameen accepting grant applications

“We got the idea from a successful initiative in the Lower Mainland,” said Aaron McRann, executive director of the community foundation. “We are excited to offer it here; there has been so much recent coverage of the increasing stress and the toll the pandemic is taking on mental health, this seems like a perfect fit.”

Annika Voeltz a horse-assisted therapy worker, said the initiative can help people manage stress.

“Horses communicate with your very core, so everything on the outside, whether it’s stress, distractions or the layers you are putting on to protect yourself from life, simply seem to disappear and let you focus on your priorities,” she said.

READ ALSO: Community Foundation of South Okanagan Similkameen presents bursaries worth more than $40,000

A partnership between the community foundation the Canadian Mental Health Association and some horse-assisted therapists is offering the therapy to frontline workers at no cost to them.

Each donation of $75 funds one appreciation session.

For more information or to donate online, visit cfso.fcsuite.com/erp/donate/create?funit_id=1289 or contact the community foundation at www.cfso.net.

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