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Horses in Naples are helping health care workers heal their stress. For the first time Naples Therapeutic Riding Center is offering mental health and wellness therapy free to local front line medical professionals who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For decades the riding center has been known for its work with people with special needs. In August they extended the program. “With the isolation anxiety, it helps reduce stress,” said Missy Saracino Lamont, executive director of Naples Therapeutic Riding Center. “With the pandemic continuing to have cases rise we understand they are still under a lot of stress and working very hard. Our horses are kind and affectionate and friendly, and their calming nature helps to reduce stress.” On Wednesday evening 10 health care workers participated in the first session of the pilot program. “I think it has done a lot to help destress,” said Erika Zalecky, a certified child life specialist at Golisano’s Children’s Hospital. “We are all working day in and day out in this situation that no one has ever been in before. It is stressful.”

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Author Naples Therapeutic Riding Center

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