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Ben’s Ranch Foundation works to expand program to help more teens struggling with mental health

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Posted at 6:24 PM, Jun 22, 2024

HAMILTON COUNTY — The heat didn’t cool down a community’s commitment to helping a non-profit that supports local teens struggling with their mental health take a step forward.

On Saturday, a large group of volunteers gathered to build fences at Koteewi Stables, run by Ben’s Ranch Foundation.

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The non-profit helps teens who are struggling with their mental health by connecting them to jobs and other experiences on farms, stables and outdoor facilities.

Brose McVey started the foundation after the loss of his own son in 2015 who also struggled with mental health challenges.

McVey says his son, Ben, battled bipolar disorder for 10 years. He says the only thing that changed his son’s life for the better was an 18 month stay in Wyoming, working with horses.

WATCH PREVIOUS COVERAGE | Foundation helps teens struggling with mental health

Foundation helps teens struggling with mental health

“It’s become such an epidemic in our society that we feel like innovative, new solutions need to be part of the answer,” McVey said.

The teens helped by Ben’s Ranch also learn about real world experiences through internships and jobs.

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Currently, Ben’s Ranch is working on adding another 18 acres of pasture for their horses.

McVey says this will help the foundation double the size of operations, which will help them serve more kids.

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“It’s amazing, not only interacting with animals but being outdoors for a few minutes, immediately shows up in the adrenaline and brain chemicals that determine our moods and state of mind,” McVey said.

Organizers hope to grow partnerships with more farms and stables across the state to expand Ben’s Ranch’s outreach.

READ MORE | Ben’s Ranch Foundation expands services by partnering with Hamilton Co. Parks (wrtv.com)

“We think a facility like this that can help kids grow and heal needs to be in every community or school district someday,” McVey said. “We want to be an advocate for that vision of you can duplicate what we’re doing in your own community or school district.”

For more information on Ben’s Ranch or how to get involved, click here.