The statistics are frightening. ‘Suicide rates for 15- to 19-year-olds and those between 20 and 24 are at their highest level since 2000, a new study reports.’ This comes from a US New & World Report article that rates increased 10% from 2014 to 2017.
In fact, teen suicide rates are higher than any other age group. According to a Washington Post article from October of 2019, ‘ Suicide has become the second-most common cause of death among teenagers and young adults, overtaking homicides and outpaced only by accidents.’
We struggle to figure out what is happening. The sharp increase in teen suicides has especially frustrated and puzzled researchers, who have struggled to explain its causes. Some have attributed it to changing social structures, lack of community and the rise of social media and smartphones. Others have pointed to bullying and less sleep. But, “The truth is anyone who says they definitively know what is causing it doesn’t know what they’re talking about,” said Ursula Whiteside, a researcher with the University of Washington. “It’s a complex problem with no easy answers so far.”
What we do know is that we must do something to change this! Early intervention and finding appropriate and impactful therapy can be vital. There is growing evidence that Equine Assisted Therapy can be a powerful intervention and part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Here is another US News & World Report article addressing how work with horses can help teens who are struggling. Horses have been found to help teens struggle with depression.
A teen who is struggling may be resistant to ‘treatment’. Even if they can figure them out, teens are often uncomfortable talking about their feelings, so an intervention that does not feel confrontational can be extremely helpful. Very Well Minded, offers their thoughts on the place Equine Assisted Therapy has in the therapeutic process and, according to this Psychology Today article, Equine therapy alleviates multiple emotional and behavioral struggles.
Nevada Equine Assisted Therapy (N.E.A.T.) is contracted with Fee For Service Medicaid to provide Psycho Social Rehabilitation (PSR). For our private pay and scholarship (our scholarships are made possible by a partnership between N.E.A.T. and the For Kids Foundation) clients we provide social, emotional and behavioral growth and learning. Our sessions are one-on-one, with the client, a Qualified Mental Health Associate (QMHA) and the horse the client chooses to work with. For more information or to schedule a visit to the ranch, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 775-750-9823.