Central Indiana nonprofit Ben’s Ranch Foundation is launching new Small Group Programs to reach additional teens struggling with mental health issues. The programs bring together 14-18-year-olds from Central Indiana who have been diagnosed with mental or emotional health conditions and are physically capable of performing farm chores.
Ben’s Ranch Small Group Programs are designed to provide multiple benefits including:
- Improve the emotional and mental health of participants by exposing them to stimulating and engaging experiences, interaction with animals, growing plants, physical labor outdoors, and teamwork.
- Separate teens from sources of stress, reduce isolation, and work with adults and peers.
- Prepare young people for future paid employment through instruction on developing good work habits, accountability, problem-solving and communication skills.
- Generate credit, where possible, toward career pathways and work- and project-based learning coursework at school.
- Improve readiness for paid internships on local farms and at stables, nurseries, and other agricultural settings.
“We’ve really come to appreciate all the benefits of getting teens together for a few hours to work, learn and interact with peers and adults,” said Ben’s Ranch Foundation Founder and Executive Director Brose McVey. “Getting away from cell phones, getting outdoors and doing physical work has a magical effect on young people, particularly those who are hurting inside.”
Those interested can learn more and register for the programs on the Ben’s Ranch website. Discounts or waivers for registration fees are available based on household income.