Outside the square, making the difference

As community services workers we often have to think outside the square to get the best results for our clients. Earlier this year I met a family who had suffered enormous grief with the loss of their 9 month old daughter several years earlier.

In particular their eight year old daughter was having behavioural issues both at home and at school. In the course of getting to know the family I had mentioned to Mum that some clients had participated in Equine therapy and Mum was excited as her eight year old daughter loved horses and felt it would be great for her. Especially since she had refused most attempts at grief counselling and this offered an alternative.

On further enquiry I discovered that the funding for the Equine therapy had been exhausted. I contacted the people from Riding for the Disabled and although I had been told that nearly all of the participants in this program had physical disabilities I put forward a strongly worded referral stating the crippling effects of a mental illness and the fact that FMHSS is an early intervention program trying to prevent the onset of mental health issues. The therapeutic benefits for this little girl would be immeasurable and could potentially be life changing.

The result being that the wonderful people at RDA accepted the referral. My client now attends every Friday morning, she rides a lovely little pony named “Bob Tail Bob” her confidence, resilience, self-esteem and commitment to tasks have all improved dramatically and in my opinion the smile on that little girls face every Friday morning is the reason I do this work.

Mum has noticed a difference at home with the calming influence of the techniques “The change in my daughter changes the whole house, it’s amazing she now plays nicely with all her siblings”.

“Our Case Manager has been so supportive and able to build a strong repour with both myself and my daughter. I would recommend the program it has made a big difference to us, I would self-refer people if I could” Mother of FMHSS client.


Written By: FMHSS Case Manager Karen Cowton