Restoring Lives, Restoring Animals: A hands-on mental health program using equine and animal assisted recovery programs to change the lives of young people.
Submitted by Carla Fadelli
Homestead For Youth runs a farm for young Australians to visit and work therapeutically with animals where the animals and young people can bond and recover from experiencing injury, trauma or hardship together.
H4Y runs hands-on mental health programs using equine and animal assisted recovery programs in the Peel region which is one of the most critical areas in Western Australia for youth mental health, youth disengagement and child abuse.
Our dream is to develop a Rehabilitation and Recovery Hub where our youth can connect with injured or rescued animals and in doing so both animal and youth heal and learn together. The dream, a hands-on solution to the epidemic of childhood trauma and suicide in our communities has commenced. The farm is 15 minutes out of Pinjarra, WA on 148 acres where animals and young people get a second chance.
Our mission is to bring safe refuge and restoration to youth - to bring hope where there is none, to find a home in a time of loss, and to restore hurting families for brighter communities.
Organisations like the Department of Communities, Independent youth care organisations, schools , doctors and private families refer youth to H4Y. We then provide safe refuge for youth in need as well as mentoring.. H4Y's success, by incorporating animals and youth, means that some of the most vulnerable youth find their way to H4Y. In a matter of weeks child protection workers, schools, TAFE lecturers and counsellors notice a rapid and tangible positive change in youth who participate in the programs.
The distraction, sensory experience, peace of the farm and immediate feedback from the animals has an almost immediate positive affect, resulting in reduction of stress, anxiety and depression symptoms. Families of our youth also receive a much needed respite.
Sunsuper’s Dreams for a Better World grants will provide much needed provision to upgrade facilities and expand our program. The grants will also help upskill staff and volunteers for our horse rehabilitation centre to offer equine therapy and help both injured animals and young people recover in a safe environment.