Since opening its doors in 2014 Blue Star Ranch founder and Executive Director, Nancy Zhe, saw the growing need of support for veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). With the request and encouragement from board members of Habitat of Humanity, Nancy and her husband, John Zhe, who serves as the Chief Financial Officer, began initial the stages of creating Blue Star Ranch in Santa Clarita, CA.
Nancy, being a generous donor to DVNF, learned about the Organizational Grant program through literature from direct mail and emails. Knowing first hand how DVNF’s grants help organizations like hers, she applied and received a $10,000 grant during our summer session of 2015.
“This grant from DVNF makes it possible for us to provide services for ten veterans and their families” Nancy said. “Initially, veterans go through an intensive eight-week series of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy with a team of three practitioners; the horse, the mental health specialist and the equine specialist.”
She added that sometimes, spouses are brought in to help strengthen communication lost during deployment.
Blue Star Ranch provides are free equine assisted psychotherapy for veterans suffering with PTSD, depression, traumatic brain injury and/or other emotional stress. Typically, veterans attend an eight-week series. Once the eight weeks are completed veterans are able to continue attending weekly group meetings and family events, as well as groom and relax with horses.
The Blue Star Ranch serves on average 15-25 veterans a week due to the ratio of team specialist available and whether sessions need to be one-on-one or can be in-group sessions.
Since providing these services to veterans, Nancy has seen improvement (based on an individual level) in the areas of: sleeping patterns, being able to interact with others who relate to their trauma, love and acceptance, family experiences, a relief in their eyes, teamwork, and more.
For all veterans seeking help with your PTSD or someone to talk to, the Blue Star Ranch family wants you to know, “we are always here for you and that when you succeed in our healing mission you will have the opportunity to join us to continue helping your fellow veterans by becoming a Blue Star Graduate Volunteer.”
For more information on becoming a Blue Star Ranch client or their methods please visit their website at: www.bluestarranch.org.
Tags: Blue Star Ranch, combat veteran, Disabled Veterans National Foundation, DVNF, Equine Therapy, Mental Health, Military, PTSD, Resources, Suicide Prevention, Traumatic Brain Injury, Veterans