Seen Through Horses

Seen Through Horses Horses For Mental Health’s 2023 Campaign Will Coincide With Mental Health Awareness Month In May

By Jillian Eberlein and Sydney Jones

Horses have been an essential part of human life for thousands of years and continue to be beneficial beyond the show rings. In recent years, horses have proven to be an integral part in making a difference for individuals facing mental health challenges.

Due to their size and presence, horses provide an engaging and emotionally safe way to understand ourselves and make healthy changes with the support of treatment professionals. As prey animals, horses are highly sensitive to nonverbal messages and intentions, which can provide valuable feedback that leads to healing. The relationship between humans and horses provides a safe, dynamic environment where peace and healing coexist.

Horses for Mental Health, a nonprofit organization, was founded in 2021 to increase awareness, public engagement, funds and access to programs incorporating horses for mental health and personal growth. Through these objectives, the goal of the organization is to uplift nonprofit programs that provide these services through funding support and by spreading awareness globally that incorporating horses for mental health treatment and personal development is an accessible and effective option.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five people will be affected by mental illness in their life, and depression is the No. 1 cause of disability worldwide, however only 46 percent of adults receive treatment.

Horses for Mental Health is led by Lynn Thomas, co-founder and president, who has been a leading force for change in the conversation surrounding mental health through several ventures, including Eagala and Arenas for Change, where she has served as co-founder and CEO.

Thomas is a licensed clinical social worker and received her master’s degree in social work from the University of Utah in 1995. She first developed a program integrating horses as a primary treatment component while serving as executive director of a residential boarding school for troubled adolescents. From Thomas’s experience, passion and knowledge regarding how horses impact the well-being of humans, Horses for Mental Health was born.

The 2023 Seen Through Horses Campaign is a peer-to-peer campaign that partners with nonprofit organizations, philanthropists, celebrities, influencers and companies to improve access to programs that incorporate horses for mental health and personal growth. The campaign will run from May 1 through May 31 to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Month. On the heels of a successful 2022 campaign, this year’s event collaborates with 12 leading organizations in the sector and benefits more than 65 nonprofit charity partners. The campaign is made possible by Zoetis, Horses for Mental Health, Arenas for Change and Equine Network.

In 2022, Seen Through Horses achieved impressive results — $60,991 was raised in donations by 46 nonprofits; more than 12,168,990 people were reached through social media, print ads, media releases, video views, e-mails and podcasts; there were 661,000 video views across four videos sharing stories of transformation through horses; and six celebrities along with 15 influencers engaged in promotional content.

“With the lessons learned in the first campaign, and the proof of what can be achieved to share with other supporters, we are excited to continue the momentum as an annual campaign,” Thomas said. “Historically, these types of campaigns take about three years to really gain traction, so the vision for this campaign is to continue expanding both in program involvement, sponsor and celebrity support, and raising funds for services.”

Mental health does not discriminate. To learn more, or get involved with the campaign, reach out to Horses for Mental Health at or visit