- Published: Wednesday, 29 July 2015 15:16
It might be the best pairing since American Pharoah and Victor Espinoza. The Horsemen’s Counseling Program and its new assistance coordinator, Jasmine Arian, appear to be made for each other.
Arian, 24, knows her way around a racetrack. She’s engaged to Oscar Mancilla, the son of jockey Oscar Mancilla (yes, they both have the same name). So when the HCP job became available she immediately showed an interest.
“My passion is having a career to help people,” Arian said. “When I saw this job, I thought it would be an excellent fit. I know a lot about the track.”
Arian started working for the HCP officially on July 1, taking over from recently retired Bill Borchardt, who married and moved to Alabama. While Borchardt actually did individual counseling sessions on a part-time basis, Arian will instead assist horsemen full-time to find professional help for what they need.
The Horsemen’s Counseling Program, which is a cooperative effort between MTHA and Maryland Jockey Club, assists racetrack employees who are dealing with personal, family and work-related situations that may be troubling. The coordinator provides services and resources to assist in dealing with a wide variety of problems including: stress, depression, family problems, marital conflict, anxiety, grief, alcohol or drug abuse, financial concerns and legal issues.
Grooms, hotwalkers, jockeys, trainers – anyone working on the backstretch – can go to the HCP coordinator at Laurel Park or Pimlico Race Course to seek help. And trainers, worried about an employee, can ask the coordinator for help with an employee. In all cases, conversations with the HCP coordinator are private and protected in each individual’s personnel file.
Arian will be working toward her full accreditation to become a licensed counselor later this year after getting married in September. “I have my bachelor’s degree from Towson University in psychology and will help coordinate an assessment to determine problems and the kind of care individuals need. I’ve been here two months and it has been busy, but I want to do outreach and make sure people know I’m available for whatever they may need.”
Arian is in her Laurel Park office on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The office is located on the backstretch in the new dorms building. She is also at Pimlico on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the MTHA’s office located near the Racing office.
The new coordinator said she has an open door policy, so people can simply walk in, or they can make an appointment by calling Arian at 301-776-0404 or MTHA Racetrack Representative Diana Pinones at 410-902-6844, for Spanish speakers.
The HCP has been working toward a drug-free environment for a long time and Arian said she is already working to coordinate drug and alcohol treatment programs with Hope House in Laurel and with alcohol and narcotics programs. She added she plans to set up at least one bilingual Alcoholics Anonymous meeting a week at Laurel Park, helping to solve possible language issues and a prevalent transportation issue.
People already have been coming to the new coordinator to help them enroll in health care, Medicare and Medicaid and Arian is personally taking employees to social services offices when necessary, and helping them fill out paperwork.
Arian clearly wants to be of service.
“I think one of the things that helped me get this job is that I went in with a lot of confidence that I could really help the employees. That’s what I want to do," she remarked. "My door is open. People can just walk in or they can call. The Horsemen’s Counseling Program has had the same phone number for years, 301-776-0404. I’m here and ready to help.”