Harrison Co. school counselors prepare for upcoming school year through equine therapy


BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – Harrison County school counselors took a field trip of sorts Wednesday, as a way to relieve some stress and prepare themselves for the upcoming school year.

25 school counselors spent the afternoon at Stars and Strides Therapeutic Equine Center to work with horses to fulfill their continuing education requirements.

School counselors are responsible for caring for the mental health of students, so Wednesday’s event was a way to allow counselors a chance to explore new ways to help students deal with the problems they face throughout the year.

“So really we’re starting today with signs and symptoms of burnout and secondary traumatic stress because of the populations we see in schools,” Big Elm Elementary school counselor Heather Stalnaker said. “So we’re focusing a lot today on how do we stay mentally healthy so we can help our students and be effective in our roles and help them achieve and succeed and do their best.”

Stalnaker said she appreciates the Harrison County Board of Education’s commitment to mental health in both its students and its faculty.

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