February Funded Partner Spotlight - Triple H Equitherapy Center
Since inception, MHM has provided more than $405 million in healthcare services through our clinics and programs, as well as through our partnerships. MHM is proud to partner with organizations that share our mission and organizational objective of delivering healthcare and social services to the least served in the South Texas region. By strengthening other organizations' capacity to provide services, we achieve our overarching goal of increasing access to care.
MHM's partnership with the Triple H Equitherapy Center is a prime example of this community healthcare model. Founded in 1995, the Triple H Equitherapy Center provides people with disabilities and wounded warriors nationally accredited equine assisted activities and therapy. Located in Pipe Creek, Texas, the center offers five unique equine therapy programs for children and adults with a range of disabilities and needs along with two specialized projects to include the "Horses for Heroes" and "Open the Gate" project.
"Open the Gate" serves children ages 6 to 17 from Kendall, Bandera, Kerr, Medina, and northern Bexar counties whose life experiences have triggered social or mental disorders that require judicial intervention or residential treatment. Contributing factors can include physical or emotional trauma, emotional or mental disorders, and poverty, among other life challenges.
Through the "Open the Gate" project participants experience recovery with optimism, autonomy, respect and dignity, partnership and personal growth. They are encouraged to expand their capabilities, fostering self-confidence and self-esteem. This enables them to go beyond their circumstances and "opens the gate" to opportunity as positive citizens of our society. Clinical outcomes of the program revealed successes on several levels. One such story of comes from A.J.*, a participant from Meadowlands--a long term residential treatment and care facility for children ages 6-17.
Upon entrance into the Open the Gate project, A.J. carried an air of overconfidence hinging on arrogance due to prior experience with horses. This caused him to express frustration during encounters with less-experienced participants; he began to take on a competitive, adversarial posture with his peers. A.J.’s participation in the program required attendance at reoccurring group sessions where he was approached positively and made aware of his negative, confrontational tendencies. With time and positive reinforcement, he worked hard to re-channel this energy and it enabled him to accommodate others by helping his peers pick out hooves, assisting with tacking up horses and encouraging others to tack and ride independently. Ultimately, A.J. developed into a positive peer-mentor for the group, carrying with him the skills necessary to practice patience, understanding and empathy.
The center has collaborated with Meadowlands, a Roy Maas Youth Alternatives residential facility, along with county juvenile justice programs and other community intervention programs for at-risk youth to reach program participants.
The Triple H Equitherapy Center has been an MHM Funded Partner since 2008. As of December 2011, MHM has contributed over $690,000 in funding to the center to assist with mental and behavioral health services. The center looks to receive $190,000 in 2012 to continue programming.
*To protect the privacy of program participants, a pseudonym has been used in the testimonial presented in the above article.