Harvard, Ill. (November 2, 2020) – As COVID-19 exacerbates the global mental health crisis, BraveHearts, the largest program in the nation using equine assisted activities and therapies for veterans, announces a series of events to shed light on the growing epidemic of veteran suicide and connect veterans all over the world for Veterans Day. In commemoration, BraveHearts will host an 11-minute virtual broadcast with digital Presentation of the Colors, as well as a drive-thru event for local veterans at their headquarters in Harvard, IL on Wednesday, November 11. In addition, a first of its kind, global, month-long “Veterans Virtual Horse Show” is underway to encourage veterans to test their horsemanship skills.
“Our Veterans Day programs were developed after multiple conversations with veterans about the lack of celebrations and events this year due to COVID-19,” said Meggan Hill-McQueeney, President/COO, BraveHearts. “While Veterans Day will look different this year, we are still committed to honoring our country’s heroes. With the intensifying veteran suicide epidemic, we wanted to facilitate as many veterans as possible to connect digitally and continue to help those who have sacrificed so much for our nation.”
BraveHearts’ Veterans Day virtual event will broadcast live on Facebook and YouTube on November 11 for civilians and veterans. The drive-thru program for local veterans and residents will take place from 11AM – 1PM CST and offer an opportunity for local veterans to watch various demonstrations and learn about the benefits of equine assisted activities and therapies. The global “Veterans Virtual Horse Show” is open for entries throughout the month of November. Every participant will receive detailed scoring and feedback from a panel of judges. Register and submit a video pattern by November 29 here. Winners will be announced in a digital celebration on December 10.
BraveHearts is the largest Professional Association for Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) Premier Accredited Center in the country that has served thousands of veterans all at no cost, offering equine services to provide emotional, cognitive, social and physical benefits for veterans. Veterans at BraveHearts report benefits including increased self-esteem, self-worth, trust for others and decreased depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and suicidal ideations.
“According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, on average, 20 veterans and active service members are lost to suicide daily. Now, more than ever before, we need to continue conversations about the need for more available resources for the men and women who have served our country. Innovative, alternative therapies should not be a last stop for veterans who are struggling. BraveHearts is here to offer a solution through equine assisted services for all those who have had trouble finding relief,” added Hill-McQueeney.
To learn more, visit www.braveheartsriding.org.