“I AM FREED” Barn opens its doors to Equine Assisted Therapists

“I AM FREED” Barn opens its doors to Equine Assisted Therapists at Carrier Clinic®

Last week, Carrier Clinic®, an NJ psychiatric hospital and recovery center, presented the latest building project on its 106-year-old, 100-acre campus: a beautiful new red barn, complete with stalls, automatic waterer, green fenced pastures, and therapy room.

The ‘I AM FREED’ barn, named for Elizabeth Freed of the Freed Foundation, provided the grant to rebuild a barn that had collapsed in a snowstorm a few years ago. Carrier Clinic held a ribbon cutting and naming ceremony to honor the Foundation for their ongoing generosity to the adolescents that participate in the Equine Assisted Therapy program.

Started over a decade ago, Carrier Clinic’s Equine Assisted Therapy program first served the adolescents and teens living at East Mountain Youth Lodge, a residential program for 13-18-year-olds who suffer from psychiatric, emotional and/or behavioral disorders. Recently, however, additional funding made it possible to offer this beneficial therapy to inpatient adolescent, teen, and adult populations.

According to Anthony Cartusciello, Residential Director of East Mountain Youth Lodge, “over 80 percent of the residents who participate in Equine Assisted Therapy feel that it is a positive experience,” and he adds, “it’s a unique experience of activities that apply therapy in a creative way.”

Donald J. Parker, CEO, and President of Carrier Clinic, began the ceremony by quoting Winston Churchill. ‘My favorite quote is “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man… but I would add to that and say, ‘inside of a man, woman, adolescent or child…”

Also in attendance was Alison Blake, Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families, who thanked Carrier Clinic for their commitment to the vulnerable adolescents and teens in New Jersey, and Somerset Freeholders Peter Palmer and Mark Caliguire. Caliguire reminded people that there are two hospitals in Somerset County – and thanked Carrier Clinic for providing top-quality mental health services for the community for over 100 years.

The new barn will play an integral part in Carrier Clinic’s Equine Assisted Therapy program in the future, as the long-term goal is to be able to permanently house horses and therapy goats at the barn so Equine Assisted Therapy is readily available to all patients at Carrier Clinic. Montgomery Mayor and equestrian Patricia Graham concluded the program by commenting on the Clinic’s “beautiful achievement” of bringing horses and Equine Assisted Therapy to the campus.



About Carrier Clinic

Carrier Clinic, a private, nonprofit Central Jersey behavioral health system, specializes in psychiatric and addiction treatment. Carrier’s system includes an inpatient psychiatric hospital, detoxification and rehabilitation center, adolescent and teen residential facility, and a fully accredited middle and high school for students classified as emotionally disturbed. For information on the Carrier Clinic and any of its services, contact the Community Relations Department at 908-281-1513 or contact us.