The SPOT Clinic in Quebec, located in a women’s shelter, has implemented several initiatives to help women who have seen their anxiety and isolation worsen in recent months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the start of the pandemic, Nalya, a former spa dog, has been playing the role of a therapist. In March 2020, she was adopted by Liz, an assistant at the SPOT Clinic, and became a full member of the team.
“Nalya is really important to me because when Lisa comes here I take her for a walk and whatever is important,” testified Sylvie Brousseau, a woman living at YWCA, her eyes lit up as she went to look for Nalya to take her. for a walk.
SPOT has set itself the goal of treating neglected women in 2019 and has therefore established a Thursday service point at YWCA.
It welcomes former sex workers, women in financial difficulties, or those who have just abandoned their spouse. A place where Sylvie feels good.
“It was rather the financial side that brought me here. Indeed, it is a beautiful place, ”she said.
“Unfortunately, many of these women, what we see during their interviews is that they have been abused in the present or in the past,” said one speaker.
And the clinic wants to create a safe environment for them.
“We are often the gateway, but we work, as my colleague said, with organizations,” explained Evelyn Laverne, a nurse practitioner at SPOT, who was one of the first to notice the collateral damage from COVID-19.
“More isolation, verbal anxiety, all service points are more frequent,” Nurse Annick Daust said of the experiences of the patients they met.
One worker also noticed an increase in the number of consultations at the YWCA service point.
“Especially in the last few weeks, we have noticed, myself and the couples of assistants who come with us to SPOT, that there is an increasing number of women who are coming, both from the living quarters and from outside. So we can definitely see that there is indeed demand, ”she said.
Psychologists, nurses, massage therapists and fellow assistants are challenged to respond to stress as efficiently as possible. On the other hand, sanitary measures have added to the difficulty during interventions such as wearing a mask.
“I believe the mask has become a big obstacle for COVID. Non-verbal. In spite of everything, we tried to keep warm. But we see that this barrier, despite all the approaches we are trying to use, causes some fear, ”said Ms Daust.
Due to the physical distancing encouraged by public health, Nalia is sometimes the only warm contact of the week for Sylvie and other women.