People who use the Kirklees Insight service have been learning about everything equestrian at the Northern Riding Centre in Dewsbury.
The Insight service works with people aged 14 and above who are experiencing their first episode of psychosis in the hope of identifying and treating symptoms early to promote recovery.
It has been shown that if psychosis is identified and treated in a timely manner and with the right support; individuals can recover, maintain relationships and achieve their aspirations.
As part of their recovery pathway four service users were invited to take part in activities at a riding stables to help boost their confidence and improve their ability to socialise. A number of people who use the service are socially isolated and have a limited social network. In a bid to increase their confidence and interaction skills to enable them to increase their social network staff organised the trip.
Four service users were selected to attend based on their readiness for the activity and ability to cope with the unique situation. As part of their day out they took part in a number of horse related activities such as learning how to groom a horse, put its bridle and saddle on and also the basics of how to ride.
The service users who took part were joined by two members of the team, who offered practical support on the day as well as psychological support for those who were understandably nervous. Staff helped alleviate any anxieties to ensure they were able to make the most of their exciting day at the stables.
Despite the initial anxiety everyone had a brilliant time and it was clear to see levels of confidence among the group increase during their time at the stables.
Support, time and recovery worker Habib Dadhiwala who facilitated the trip, said, "The day out was only made possible as a result of funding from the Trust’s charitable fund. The benefits of the trip have been significant and we could see the results of improved confidence within the group. It was a great opportunity for the services users to be able to take part in a new activity and learn something completely new.
As a service we are always looking for new activities that will engage people who use the service and help with their recovery. This was another great example of how we can cater to different interests and look for new ways to improve confidence and social interaction."
What is psychosis?
It is normal for any us to have strange experiences now and then, like hearing noises when we’re very tired or seeing things out of the corner of our eye. However, if you experience psychosis other things can develop such as feeling like you’ve got special powers; concerns that everyone can hear your thoughts; hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling or physically feeling things that other people can’t; or felling loss of energy, interest in the world or emotions. The experience of psychosis is very individual so any combination of these or other experiences might be present. Psychosis is complex, and there is no agreed way of identifying the cause of it for everybody.