Wellbeing through Equine Therapy. The Herd Word with Jessica Cody

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Wellbeing through Equine Therapy. The Herd Word with Jessica Cody


At St Mary’s there are many layers to how we as a school, try and enhance our student’s wellbeing and ensure we support and build mental health. The strategies, knowledge and experiences to support this practice over a student’s time here are many and varied.


Our students recently had a really powerful lesson with their peers in class groups to learn more about self regulation and stress management and how this affects both themselves and those around them. Digby, the Warhorse and Jess Cody (facilitator) did an amazing job of illustrating how our feelings and moods affect each other and the importance of trying to remain relaxed and calm to manage your emotions even in high stress situations. Another aspect of the lesson was in leadership and how this can be fluid amongst a group. Leaders don’t need to be loud and out the front but can be more effective as calm and supportive members sometimes in the middle of the group. Amongst other learnings, students also found out how to make and use a space bubble to protect themselves in some situations throughout the course of their day.


The overall experience was very worthwhile. The main aim of the day was for teachers to be able to draw on the shared experience and relate and revisit the lessons learned from Digby and Jess to improve student’s overall learning for themselves and their peers. The session overlapped very well with the Berry Street Model of Education which we have in place. Our teachers and support staff will be receiving more training in 2024 from the Berry Street organisation.


So as a follow up to our school experience, it would be great if you could ask your child/ren for some more information about the session. See if they can teach you some skills or strategies they have learnt and begin or continue to have a shared language around wellbeing and mental health. At school we are limited in what we can do to support wellbeing and mental health. We are a huge part of contributing to your child/ren’s healthy development but the role that home and families play in this is paramount.


If your child/ren need any further wellbeing support please don’t hesitate to contact me on 54722270 or email mark.osullivan@smcastlemaine.catholic.edu.au


For Grade Six parents we also have a program starting soon and it would be really valuable if you could attend the parent sessions to help facilitate this. Please see the flyer below.



Kind regards,


Mark O’Sullivan