Great mental health needs: animals called in as reinforcements

The demand for mental health care has exploded since the start of the pandemic. This is no doubt one of the reasons why new strategies are adopted by community stakeholders. Among these is pet therapy.

“What we are seeing, more and more, are requests for social work and psychoeducation. So, it comes to compensate a little, I imagine, the lack of services in psychology, because of the waiting lists, ”says Chantale Gosselin, co-owner and general manager of the Humanimals Clinic.

The help provided by animals has already proven its worth. For example, by making cats, dogs, birds and even rats available to patients, it is possible to reassure them and thus create a calming climate during consultations.

“The bond of trust will be established more quickly. The child, then the adult too, but above all the child, seeing us act with the animals, it is as if we are sending a message that we can trust him, he is a good person, he does not no harm to her animal, so she won’t hurt me,” explains Danny Létourneau, psychotherapist and co-owner of the Humanimals Clinic.

For a long time, animals have been recognized as a source of comfort to break isolation and loneliness. The current proposal is therefore to use them to improve the supply of mental health care to the public and the private sector, particularly during the context of the pandemic.

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