The pandemic has considerably affected the mental health of many French people.
With one in five people facing psychiatric disorders in the country, the demand for care has exploded.
But in a context of inflation and purchasing power crisis, for some people in psychological and economic vulnerability, the question arises of starting or continuing therapy when the cost of care begins to weigh heavily on the budget.
Take care of yourself,.
Eat well, keep warm, and clear your mind.
So many simple commandments that suddenly become complicated when faced with financial or energy insecurity.
After the health crisis, which has damaged the mental health of many French men and women, the galloping inflation of the last few months has further undermined the morale and finances of the most vulnerable.
To the point of forcing some to question their ability to initiate or continue psychological follow-up, or the need to reduce it to limit its financial burden.
"An expense that I'm not sure I can afford in the long run"
Since the pandemic
nearly one in five French people (18%) shows signs of a depressive state, and more than a quarter (26%) shows signs of an anxious state, according to the latest results of the survey. Coviprev from Public Health France.
This is the case of Mathilde who, between the health crisis and the hardships of recent months in her personal life, felt herself slipping into a state of psychological fragility, "with permanent sadness, crying spells, insomnia and anxieties, confides the thirty-something.
I always felt pretty solid in my head, but now I can't manage anymore.
Consulting a psychiatrist would help me, which some relatives also advised me”.
The young woman inquires, thinks of undertaking psychotherapy, "to understand my reactions, manage my emotions and overcome what I can't get through".
But she is disillusioned on the financial side.
“Therapy easily lasts a year, or even two.
At the rate of one session per week at 60 euros, it's a heavy expense, which I'm not sure I can ensure in the long term, blows the thirty-year-old.
I no longer buy meat, fish or clothes, I go out less and I lower the heating, describes the young single executive.
But my salary does not increase.
So therapy scares me.
A situation that practitioners are already seeing.
“Some patients ask us if it is possible to reduce the frequency of sessions, observes Jean-Pierre Zobel, president of the National Union of Practitioners in Relational Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis (SNPPSY), so we try to find the right compromise to ensure the continuum of support.
It is worrying, even if in liberal, we do not have the population most in financial difficulty compared to medico-psychological centers (CMP) or psychiatric hospitals, where patients are in greater financial precariousness.
Rejuvenation of people in psychological distress
And there is one audience in particular that concerns the practitioner.
"We are seeing a boom in anxiodepressive-type pathologies, especially among young people and students, for whom it can be particularly complex to take care of their mental health in the event of financial insecurity", warns Jean-Pierre Zobel.
An observation shared by Claudie Tondon-Bernard, president of the France Dépression* association, which offers telephone listening: “The profile of the people who call us has changed since the pandemic, the callers are increasingly young.
We receive calls from children secretly calling parents, from young men, and the calls are increasing.
In recent months, the phenomenon has increased, and financial issues are beginning to come to our attention, she says.
This is all the more worrying as people in ill-being often feel alone and find it difficult to talk about it to those around them”.
In Nancy, where the association has a local relay, new requests are made.
“The management of a large school asked us to hold a weekly permanence there, continues the director of France Dépression.
Young people testify to a deep malaise and are in high demand for care and listening, but many are not in the financial capacity to consult”.
However, “ill-being is a disease, insists Claudie Tondon-Bernard.
The care should be improved”.
To meet the demand for care, the government released an envelope of 50 million euros in April for the MonPsy device, which allows
to benefit from eight sessions with a psychologist reimbursed by Social Security.
A device against which “we shrinks are upwind, underlines Jean-Pierre Zobel.
The modest sums - 30 euros per session of 30 to 40 minutes - mean that very few practitioners have registered, and it is not in eight sessions that we can really help”.
What would change the situation would be “reimbursement of therapies based on resource criteria, suggests the psychotherapist.
Because today, in psychiatric hospitals and CMPs, there are between six and eighteen months of waiting”.
And for those who benefit from care, “the limited resources of the public sector have affected the quality of care, adds Claudie Tondon Bernard.
In CMP, patients are seen for a few minutes, barely enough time to refill prescriptions.
And if MonPsy has the merit of existing, in practice, I doubt its accessibility across the territory”.
For years, "the field of mental health has been devastated and abandoned by the public authorities, whether in institutions affected by bed closures, and in the liberal field, where there is a lack of therapists, with professions losing their attractiveness,” laments Jean-Pierre Zobel.
At the same time, France Dépression extends its field of action.
“Five years ago, our helpline was active for two hours, twice a week, remembers Claudie Tondon-Bernard.
Today, we have twenty-five listeners trained by a therapist, who provide 57 hours of weekly listening.
They refer to a general practitioner or to more urgent care if someone manifests suicidal thoughts.
And faced with the explosion in the number of calls received, we would need new listeners to widen the listening ranges”.
Other innovative and solidarity-based solutions are emerging.
Like the “Kit de vie” launched by the Nightline France association, developed by volunteer students and psychologists, and accessible via a smartphone or computer.
An interactive tool that aims to help young people
by learning to identify and manage their emotions, and modify certain behaviors.
📣 Lucile and Éléonore present to you your new ✨ life kit ✨ developed with student #psychologists and volunteers to allow you to take care of your mental health on a daily basis, from your phone 🤳 Are you getting started?
👉 https://t.co/iT9fcL7PJB pic.twitter.com/rwjRkXOLQy
— Nightline France (@NightlineFrance) November 13, 2022
Access to this content has been blocked to respect your choice of consent
By clicking on "
", you accept the deposit of cookies by external services and will thus have access to the content of our partners
And to better remunerate 20 Minutes, do not hesitate to accept all cookies, even for one day only, via our "I accept for today" button in the banner below.
More information on the Cookie Management Policy page.
A tool through which you can also “learn how to help friends and loved ones in distress step by step”, indicates Éléonore, psychologist at Nightline.
And on which we can find a list “of all free psychiatric support for students”.
France Dépression: Help line: 07 84 96 88 28, Monday-Friday 9 a.m./12 p.m.-2 p.m. 8 p.m.- Saturday 2 p.m./8 p.m.- Sunday 2 p.m./8 p.m.
Mental health: Swimming legend Michael Phelps talks about his depression
Sick leave: "The mental health of young people has been deteriorating for years"