Whatcom County youth need your help! image

Whatcom County youth need your help!

Please give today for preventative mental health care & crisis support

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Please help us provide support to struggling Whatcom County youth

Dear friends & supporters,

Last winter, ANT was called upon to visit local high schools after multiple shooting threats left students anxious and frightened, and it happened again just recently at my son's middle school in Blaine. The painful effects of isolation, anxiety, and depression from the pandemic, particularly among young people, have continued to ripple through our community.

According to the WA State Healthy Youth Survey (Fall 2021), in a 10th Grade class of 30 students in Whatcom County, 21 are dealing with anxiety, 12 are dealing with depression, 6 have contemplated suicide, and 2 have attempted suicide.

Our youth are struggling, and they are very likely your neighbors, a child you teach, or someone you love.

So, ANT has begun mobilizing our efforts to provide additional preventative mental health care & crisis support for youth in Whatcom County. In 2022 this includes:

  • Weekly farm sessions for Blaine School District students (elementary - high school) struggling with mental health, and campus visits from our therapy animals to reduce stress & anxiety
  • Regular Mobile ANT visits to Bellingham School District campuses (elementary - high school) to help youth manage stress, anxiety and depression
  • A Young Men’s Group to provide supportive male role models for positive social & emotional development
  • Whatcom County's first affirming week of Day Camp specifically for LGBTQ+ youth
  • Summer programs for Lummi Nation and Swinomish youth
  • Young Adult workshops for ages 18-25 (not previously served by our programs)
  • Family support workshops for parents & caregivers

We also continue to offer our after-school groups, individual, veteran, & family sessions, and intergenerational Mobile ANT visits, and are excited to be working with the Northwest Therapeutic Riding Center on our first collaboration later this fall, to offer a 6-week course for veterans, free of charge.

Needless to say, it is a busy time at the farm and we have swung wide our gates to offer a healing space for all who are struggling.

However, we lack the funding to do this work on our own and need your help.

The next school shooter could be one of our participants: lonely, angry, and resentful of the world.

It is urgent that we support our youth with evidence-based interventions, and ANT's animals and mental health staff are uniquely suited to address the pain that so many are finding unbearable. If you believe, as I do, in the amazing power of animals to touch even the most hard-to-reach hearts, I urge you to join us in this life-changing work.

Thank you!

Jaime Arnett

Executive Director