Every week, CAMH patients travel to Top Rail Stables in Halton Hills. They participate in CAMH’s Stable Visits and Horse Riding Program, which runs year-round, thanks to support from Gifts of Light.
During the weekly program, patients spend time grooming and walking the horses, and when they feel comfortable, they have a chance to ride them, too.
“We have seen high levels of engagement and enthusiasm from our program participants,” says Theresa Bernard, an Occupational Therapist and one of the program coordinators.
This program—and many other activities supported by Gifts of Light—gives participants the chance to take a break from the daily hospital routine, build confidence and improve self-esteem. It has been a resounding success, with many new participants eager to join the program.
“I learned I can be calm; that I can learn new stuff. Being around horses is therapeutic, it calms me down,” says Tony, one of the participants. “I would recommend the program to everybody.”