Natasha Maier is an addiction counsellor and Lisa Daradich is a paramedic; both work in Brief and Social Detox in Regina.
Because of COVID-19, many things have changed in our workplace (SHA Brief and Social Detox - Regina) which has brought many new challenges.
The pandemic has affected our patients and clients with lost jobs, business closures, increased anxiety and stress.
We see and deal with many difficult situations and hearing about the increase in overdose deaths reinforces the need for our services to continue to be available for our vulnerable population. Many have not been able to see family members or interact socially. They worry every day that they may take home the virus to their family or roommates.
Our detox program has worked hard to continue to provide quality care to our patients and clients, while many community and outreach services serving our clients have had to reduce their services or offer alternative supports over the last year. However, we have continued to remain open and serve our patients by providing a safe place for them to detox.
As healthcare workers, we have had to undergo training in areas like testing, vaccinating and donning and doffing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) due to the changing requirements because of COVID-19.
Many of us feel this has been a challenging past year; however, we have a great team and will continue to support each other, and our patients and clients.
A note from Kathy Willerth, Director of Mental Health and Addictions Services in Regina, and Troy Neiszner, Manager of Brief and Social Detox, Regina:
We are proud of the staff in both of our detox programs and especially proud of the work that has been done to be able to maintain full service capacity in the brief detox program since the beginning of the pandemic. An immense amount of work went in to minimizing the risk of the spread of COVID-19, introducing testing and then Point of Care testing and now delivering the vaccine to some of our communities most vulnerable clients. These staff have demonstrated an unfailing commitment to a client group that are often a forgotten population.