Behavioral Health Services organizes family activity with horses
October 5, 2018
Gila River Indian News
Families at the District 4 Ballpark connected with horses for an activity organized by Behavioral Health Services and an equine therapy organization. Community members petted, brushed and interacted with three horses on Sept. 18 to promote teambuilding, and a way to learn more about horses.
Hoofbeats with Heart, a 501 (c)(3) charity out of San Tan Valley, worked with Behavioral Health Services for the event and Behavioral Health Services Prevention & Education Specialist Lead Anna Pacheco said, “The focus is on connecting with the horses and through a family night activity.”
Pacheco also said that they partner with Sacaton Elementary School District for a weekly class with the horses and families.
Hoofbeats with Heart works with many organizations to provide therapy for clients of all types. “I started the therapy center about 12 years ago, we focus with kids with disabilities, we also provide rides for any one,” said Kelly Hullihen, founder of Hoofbeats with Heart.
The organization has been working with the Community for six years and does all types of equine related activities with the children, who may have a disability both mental and physical.
“We definitely connect with other people and other groups and departments,” said Pacheco, “Activities like the family equine night are one small piece of the other things that we do for the Community.”
Pacheco said this is one of several ways Behavioral Health reaches out to the Community by providing opportunities that strengthen the family unit while building an environment that promotes a sense of belonging.
In District 4, the children spent time with the horses and learned their names and their breeds.
The horses, Arrow, Pace and Charlie are “retired” from racing, trails and horse shows, and the children quickly developed a bond by communicating with the horses and brushing their manes.
The classes in Sacaton are once a week, with six families currently participating in the activity and they cover communication, overcoming obstacles and setting family goals.
“We’re going to continue through the fall and spring,” said Pacheco, “This one was just the first partnership with the Sacaton School District.”
Throughout the year, BHS will be providing different activities based around social interactions with families, but also on an individual level with trainings on a variety of subjects related prevention initiatives, that build strong relationships and educate about mental health and awareness. For anyone interested in receiving information about the BHS program, you can go to: GRHC.org/BHS.