Mental Health Awareness Walk and Festival Will Showcase Community Resources

horses in front of a barn
Photo by Melode Seremet

Paws for Reflection Ranch Hosts Mental Health Awareness Walk & Festival

More than 45 organizations will come together for mental health on Saturday, May 21, 2022, at Midlothian Community Park, 3601 S. 14th Street at 9 a.m. The occasion is a Mental Health Awareness Walk and Festival being held by Paws for Reflection Ranch, an animal-assisted activity and therapy facility that has been serving area families for 15 years.

The festival and walk registration begin at 9 a.m., with the walk stepping off at 10 a.m. Everyone is invited to walk, push, pull or roll along a short one-mile course around the park. Dogs on leashes are welcome. The festival features live music, food trucks, a Classic Car Show, arts & crafts vendors, local businesses, and an array of community and mental health resource booths. Of course, all the park amenities will be open, including the splash pad and playgrounds for families to enjoy.

Raising Funds For Ranch Services

The event is being held to raise awareness of mental health services in the community, as well as to help reduce the stigma attached to mental illness. Event exhibitors and walk participants also hope to raise funds for Ranch services, which include therapeutic horseback riding, equine-assisted counseling, therapeutic horsemanship programs, and counseling with small animals.

In addition, the ranch offers community events, such as Easter and Santa at the Ranch for families with special needs. During the Annual Ranch Rider Horse Show, riders show off horsemanship skills to their families and friends. Other programs include Herd Strong for at-risk youth and Mane Inspiration, a program for women going through a life transition, and much more.

An IRS 501(c)(3), non-profit organization, Paws for Reflection Ranch serves more than 2,000 individuals annually. Eighty-five percent of clients suffer financial hardship and need assistance paying for services. Hoping to reduce the Veteran suicide rate of 22 per day, the Ranch serves Veterans at no charge. Proceeds from this event will be used to grow the Ranch’s client scholarship fund.

Explains Stan Seremet, Ranch co-founder, “It’s no secret that our country has seen a rise in addiction, domestic violence, and child abuse in recent years. Mental health programs and services are more important than ever. This event, which is being held during Mental Health Awareness Month, allows us to showcase available services and bring the community together to identify additional needs.”

Premier sponsor of the event is the Midlothian Community Development Corporation, which is a City of Midlothian Board that provides grant funding to projects, such as this, that positively affect the quality of life for citizens, as well as contribute to the local economy.

Walk registration link, along with sponsorship opportunities and vendor booth rental information can be found at: