Honour Ranch to provide PTSD refuge

By Jill Sperling / Adam Donnelly
October 23, 2016 - 9:10am Updated: October 24, 2016 - 3:26pm

KAMLOOPS — First responders and military personnel now have a place to escape the stresses of their important services. 

The Honour Ranch was launched Saturday, a first-of-its-kind retreat for those suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

Property owners Rick and Donna Wanless realized the need for a place of refuge and treatment when Rick was injured, requiring the services of paramedics. 

"There was certainly a lot of good being done by these people and they were going unrecognized," Rick said. "We thought, 'well, if there was some way of recognizing what these people are doing we'd be pleased.' Then we got into the need for the therapy requirements for some of the members too."

The couple reached out to the Honour House Society to get the ball rolling on a program at the ranch, located north of Kamloops. 

Wanless says the Honour Ranch will be a place of treatment for veterans and first responders with PTSD.

"They expose themselves to so many somewhat toxic conditions and then they have to come back smiling," Wanless said. "It's not always easy to bounce back."

Wanless says there are many ideas for services at the ranch including camping, equine therapy, and kayak and swimming lessons.

Health Minister Terry Lake was at the Honour Ranch launch, and says it's extremely important to look after mental health needs of people who go to great lengths to serve their community. 

"With Honour Ranch here in the North Thompson they'll have access to treatment that will help them get onto the path to healthy living again," Lake said. 

"I think that's really special for us in our region to be a part of that."

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