Inspiration Ranch Expands Access to Mental Health Program during COVID-19 Crisis
Trauma-Informed/Trauma-Focused Program Can Help Individuals Recover from Pandemic Stress and Uncertainty
April 21, 2020, Magnolia, Texas – Inspiration Ranch has brought Debbie Blackmon, a Licensed Psychological Associate with Independent Practice (LPA-IP) and Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP), on staff full time to help clients through the COVID-19 disaster.
“This community is already seeing an increased need for mental health services because of the Coronavirus,” says Inspiration Ranch President and CEO, MG Tindall, “we have chosen to increase our mental health program’s capacity earlier than planned to try to help fill that need.”
Tindall, who serves on the Montgomery County Behavioral Health and Suicide Prevention Taskforce, and the Inspiration Ranch Board of Directors anticipated an increased need for mental health services as the COVID-19 crisis escalated. After the recent report of an increase in suicides, the Ranch chose to expand Blackmon’s hours to offer help for those suffering with job loss, isolation, anxiety, and other effects of COVID-19.
“This is a way that we felt we could step up to help quickly and effectively,” says Tindall, “Debbie has extensive experience with both children and adults experiencing trauma. She is uniquely equipped to help right now.”
Blackmon joined Inspiration Ranch in March, and the Ranch had planned to increase her availability through the remainder of 2020. However, as Ranch leadership saw the need for mental health services rise over the past weeks they decided to move that initiative up. Blackmon can see clients via telehealth now and will move those clients into the on-site Equine-Assisted Mental Health Program as soon as the CDC and local officials deem it is safe.
Blackmon has 30 years of experience in mental health that includes time spent as a mental health professional in public schools, private practice, and therapeutic horsemanship centers. She has worked across ages, genders, and diagnoses to address mental health needs. Blackmon uses Natural Lifemanship methodology, a scientific-based, trauma-informed approach to mental health that demonstrates how building positive relationships with a horse can be translated into real-life experience to help clients overcome trauma, cope with stress, and build better relationships.
When Inspiration Ranch reopens to clients, Blackmon will be seeing both private and group clients, opening the possibilities of hope and healing that equine-assisted therapies offer to the community. Until that time she can see clients online to help with immediate mental health needs. For more information, or to set up an appointment, please visit www.inspirationranch.org/mentalhealth. For guidance on coping with stress visit www.inspirationranch.org/blog for tips from Blackmon.