Research mixes perinatal mental health treatment with equine therapy
A perinatal mental health nurse with a passion for horses has been recognised for her innovative research exploring how equine therapy can support the mental health of perinatal mothers.
Sharene Duncan presented at the 2018 Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Consultation Liaison and Perinatal Mental Health Special Interest Group conference. It was the first time presenting to a conference and her research Out of the clinic and into the paddock won best paper in the perinatal stream.
Ms Duncan’s research focuses on supporting the mental health of mothers by offering treatment outside of a clinical setting.
“It’s time to think outside the box. Mental health nursing doesn’t need to be defined within a clinical setting and particularly perinatal nursing,” Sharene said.
“Horses model embodiment, presence and emotional intelligence and when experienced by humans, these skills have been demonstrated to elicit feelings that facilitate the unlocking of unhelpful cognitive and behavioural patterns.
“It was the first presentation I had ever done at a conference, and I wasn’t aware that there was an award so it was a complete shock for me.”
Sharene offers horse therapy in private practice on a part time basis alongside working at Metro North for the perinatal mental health team.