Bucks County Equine Therapy Helps Veterans Combat Mental Health Struggles

Written by on February 12, 2020

Bucks County Equine Therapy Helps Veterans Combat Mental Health Struggles

By K.C. Lopez

Veteran Jim Buszka and Gus at Shamrock Reins

PIPERSVILLE, PA – Two hundred fifty-seven veterans died by suicide in Pennsylvania in 2017. At the Shamrock Reins farm in Bucks County, organizers are working on prevention. They’re using equine therapy as a tool for saving lives and helping participants navigate civilian life. 

Here on the 23-acre farm, they’ve stepped in before it’s too late. Since opening in 2014, the staff has 20 documented saves from veterans who have indicated thoughts or concrete plans to take their own lives.

Navy veteran Jim Buszka said this therapy is unlike anything else.

“Even though you’re smiling, who knows what’s going on inside. They pick up what’s going on inside. And so when you see what you’re feeling in the horse it gives you — it makes it a little more cognitive where you know what’s going on with yourself,” Buszka said.

More than 500 veterans and first responders have found help here. Ninety percent of them are members of the military. 

The staff here says it’s their time to serve those who have served the country.

Watch K.C. Lopez’s full PBS39 News Tonight Report.


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