Enjoy all your local news and sports for less than 5¢ per day.

Subscribe Now

Phoenix Center raising money for equine therapy center

Phoenix Center groundbreaking in Horseshoe Bay

Plans for the Phoenix Center's new mental health counseling center and equine therapy center are displayed at a groundbreaking on Sept. 30, 2020, in Horseshoe Bay. File photo

The Phoenix Center is accepting donations toward a $387,000 goal in a grant challenge from the Mabee Foundation. The nonprofit must raise the money to receive $203,000 in matching funds from the foundation that will go toward the construction of an equine therapy center in Horseshoe Bay. 

The center, which offers mental health services to children and families, had about $137,125 left to raise as of Aug. 18.

In a media release from the organization announcing the challenge, founder Sarah Garrett said expanded mental health care, including trauma-focused equine therapy, is needed locally because the counties the Phoenix Center serves are in a National Mental Health Provider Shortage Area. The center has seen a rise in demand for its services over the past five years.

“Our goal is for trauma-informed equine therapy to be accessible to every child and family,” she said.

The release goes on to state that, “since 2020, national rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation in children and adolescents have significantly increased,” including a 60 percent rise in ER admissions for suicide attempts by girls ages 10-18 over the past two years.

The Phoenix Center’s future equine therapy facility is part of its long-term strategic plan to increase mental health services for children who have experienced trauma such as abuse or neglect. It currently holds equine therapy programs off site at Tonkawood Farms.

According to the release, the center will complete construction of its 8,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art counseling center in Horseshoe Bay this summer before starting on Phase 2 of its building plans, which include the equine therapy center with barn, stables, therapy rooms, pens, paddocks, and pastures. The center broke ground on the project in September 2020.

No child is ever turned away due to their family’s inability to pay, according to the release. The Phoenix Center offers its services to financially in-need families free of charge or on a sliding scale based on income. More than 80 percent of its clients are considered low-income.

“With the support of Central Texans, we will build an innovative equine therapy center found nowhere else,” Garrett said. “Phoenix Center believes that every person can make a difference. You are that person. I am that person. And together, we will impact generations.”

To help reach the center’s goal for the matching funds grant, make a secure donation online or mail it to: Phoenix Center, P.O. Box 732, Marble Falls, TX 78654. 

For more about the Phoenix Center’s mission, visit its website.