A new nonprofit organization in Livingston County aims to help veterans transition from military to civilian life and work through personal issues by way of coaching and equine guided-learning.
Jill Haas, a Professional Certified Coach, Certified Equine Guided Learning Facilitator/Coach and Registered Nurse, began Warrior Path Home this past May. The nonprofit aims to provide therapeutic, multidimensional coaching in her programs that address the stress and resiliency of each client with goals of better coping and life skills for less stress, anxiety, PTSD symptoms and essentially helping to prevent suicide whenever possible for veterans. According to Haas, the most current data estimates there are 22 veteran suicides in the U.S. per day. Haas says there are an estimated 11,000 veterans in Livingston County; a number of whom are struggling to make a better life and find purpose after military service.
Haas has been coaching for 15 years and, after she started working with veterans about three years ago, felt there was a need and that she could better serve veterans by establishing a nonprofit. Warrior Path Home’s programs are delivered through private or group coaching, and also may be in combination using horses as learning partners. Haas shared with WHMI why equine coaching or equine guided learning allows clients to make a connection and progress stating, “Horses are an excellent mirror for what we are thinking, feeling, and even not saying. They want us to be congruent with our behavior because, in short, they’re flight animals and if we come into their space and are not in our balance then we may threaten them somehow.” Haas says when partnering with a horse, there’s also a “magical” experience when unexplainable things happen, like the timing of a head nod from the horse when the client has a breakthrough.
All coaching services are customized to the client’s needs in order to meet each veteran and family where they are. Clients are followed for their well-being for at least six months post-program, which is measured subjectively via surveys to determine progress.
Haas says ultimately, the focus at Warrior Path Home is getting to the root of veterans’ issues instead of simply managing them, while also creating a greater awareness of self and of the world. To celebrate the organization’s inception, a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held this coming Tuesday, November 5th, from 3 to 5pm at 8381 Pingree Road in Pinckney. For more information, visit their Facebook page. A link is posted below. (DK)