EVIDENCE SUPPORTING THE YOUTH PROGRAMME
Case Study by Singapore Business Federation Foundation
Yani was known to teachers as a student who was impulsive and unaware of the consequences of her actions. She was also unable to focus on her work and had a tendency to use inappropriate language and vulgarities.
However, that changed when she joined the EQUAL youth programme. Her love for animals helped her connect with the horses she worked with immediately. Yani was very sensitive towards the horses and was able to identify the personality of the horse through her interactions with them. In the same way, Yani also developed a greater awareness and ability to read the emotions and triggers of her peers.
Research by the Institute of Mental Health
The 2017 study found that the program at EQUAL improved the character skills of students which were associated with higher academic grades at the end of the semester.
- Dr New Fei Ho from the IMH Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
- A/Prof Daniel Fung, Chairman of the Medical Board at IMH and a Senior Consultant with the IMH Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
- Dr Jade Kua, Consultant in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and Consultant in the Hospital Service Division, Ministry of Health
- Mr Jonathan Zhou, EQUAL Programme Director
Research by Duke-NUS, Institute of Mental Health and KK Women's and Children's Hospital
The 2013 research, 'Exploring the effectiveness of Equine-Assisted Learning (EQUAL) for improving habits of mind in 13 year-old school children,' scientifically validated by study of 157 Northlight School students, shows that 13 Year-Old School-Children improved by an average of 67.8% in their Habits of Minds after EQUAL. EQUAL produces significant, rapid and cost-effective changes in youth.
Equine Assisted Therapy: A Unique and Effective Intervention
There is increasing recognition and integration of Equine Assisted Therapy in the traditional mental health field. Growing evidence supports the effectiveness of treatment with horses in a therapeutic environment. Studies have resulted in a body of literature supporting the therapeutic value of the human-animal interaction. Equine Assisted Therapy can help clients with depression, anxiety, ADHD, conduct disorders, addiction, trauma, eating disorders, spectrum and health difficulties, dissociative disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other mental health difficulties.
HEAR WHAT PARENTS OF OUR BENEFICIARIES SAY
"My daughter has become much more responsible these days. She studies harder in school and takes responsibility for the work that is assigned to her. She also has become wiser in her use of time. She even puts in the time and effort to bond with, and be more helpful towards the family members."
~ Mr Rizduan
"My son, Mattheus was born with the genetic disorder, NF1. At the age of 3, he was diagnosed with hearing loss and fitted with hearing aid. These conditions have delayed his speech/language and cognitive development. He lacks self-confidence and can be quite timid at trying new things.
Mattheus loves animals and was blessed with close contact with horses through the EQUAL programme. He looked forward to every session with enthusiasm. He enjoyed caring for the horses, playing games with them and riding them. He also enjoyed the interactive activities with the instructors and friends he made at the programme.
The programme has helped Mattheus to be more confident and responsible. He has also learnt to be more accommodating towards others. He is now more bold in sharing his opinions with others too."
~ Mdm Hsu Y. F.
"Through this programme, we have seen how my son Danial overcame his challenges, especially balancing issues. He is now less fearful of riding and has learnt to work better in a team. It has also helped him gained more confidence. In end August, he took part in his school's talent contest and got into the finals. It was his 1st time playing the drums in public and he had no stage fright at all!”
~ Mdm Haznita
"I have heard nothing but praise from fellow parents…All the coaches are professional and very experienced in managing special needs kids. They did a superb job in organising all the lessons from Habits of Mind, selecting very appropriate topics such as independent thinking, managing impulsiveness and active listening. The outdoor activities were a favourite, as the youths get to practice what they learnt by interacting with the horses, cultivating a sense of achievement and self-confidence.”
~ Mr Samuel, Elias' father