Making A Difference With Animals Therapy

Toni Van Werden
Turning Point Evaluations, Inc.
Winterset, IA
Creating awareness with victims of abuse, domestic violence, and veteran programs associated with equine therapy and animal assisted therapy with canines. Assisting individuals in making positive lifestyle changes to meet their potential and live the fulfilling life they were meant to live.
• Model
o Model was community driven based by courts, schools, attorneys, community members, DHS and studies showing that Madison County is a county in need of assistance
o Based off of the needs of the community
o Pertaining to mental health, substance abuse treatment and community outreach
o Individually based
• Unique
o We don’t turn anyone away
o The substance abuse works with the needs of the individuals, while following the guidelines and requirements by the state.
o Turning Point has the oversite of Dr. Herbert Notch. License number 2 in Iowa as a neurologist/psychologist. He implemented programs, which are still thriving today.
o Mental health therapy has a variety of techniques and partners to ensure the quality of care for the individual is met
o Community Outreach allows for the use of equine and canine assisted techniques.
o We use the horses for therapy with a variety of options: Veterans comes to focus on PTSD and co-occurring disorders, children and their families, individual sessions
o Work with courts, schools, DHS, therapists, doctors, police department and so on
o Community partners work together to assist with the family needs
o Employees Live in community and respond when needed
o This agency is not afraid to reach out and offer support
• Money
o Grants
o Donations
o Tt19, when applicable
o Insurance, when applicable
o Fundraising
• Competition
o There are other providers in the area, yet we coordinate to meet the needs of the individuals
• Mental health industry is a challenging field to work in. With co-occurring disorders, medically driven disorders and the overall human aspect changes daily. To be allowed in the front lines with an individual can be draining. However; with the agency we created, it no longer feels like a job. Turning Point is allowed by the individuals we serve to walk along side of them. Providers do not see ourselves as ‘fixers’ or ‘helpers’ we are just simply a tool that can be used to guide the individual in taking their personal journey of HOPE to the next level.
We are applying for Dream Big, Iowa because we feel we could make an even bigger difference in our community with funds collected from this competition.

We would use the money to establish new tack (saddles, halters, leads, bridles), safety equipment (helmets for riding) and the necessary items (paints, balls, therapy equipment) needed to keep our equine and canine program up to standards. We could also use money for transporting kids to and from the program at the ranch.

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