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additional resources in the face of the damage caused by the Covid-19 crisis


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At the end of the Assises for Mental Health and Psychiatry, Emmanuel Macron announced Tuesday, among other measures, the reimbursement of consultations with psychologists and the creation of 800 positions in medico-psychological centers.

“The pandemic has revealed the importance of the subject”: such were the words of Emmanuel Macron, Tuesday, September 28, at the time of closing the two days of the Assises of mental health and psychiatry, at the Ministry of Solidarity and Health, in Paris. “For a long time, the resources put in were not up to par,” he conceded.

The head of state has detailed his plan for the mental health of the French. The latter have suffered greatly from the Covid-19 crisis: according to the results of a CoviPrev survey published on September 17, 15% of them show signs of a depressive state (+5 points compared to the level outside the epidemic ), 23% of signs of an anxious state (+10 points) and 10% had suicidal thoughts during the year (+5 points). Isolation, anxieties, domestic violence in the privacy of confinements were the detonators of new suffering.

>> To see, our Focus: “Covid-19: the mental health of the French under strain”

A course of care to be reimbursed

Faced with a strong demand for care, Emmanuel Macron announced several measures. Thus, from 2022, the Health Insurance will reimburse consultations of liberal psychologists, “for the entire population from the age of 3”. This coverage will be subject to conditions: patients must be “referred by medical prescription” as part of a package of eight reimbursed consultations, the first session being at 40 euros and the following ones at 30 euros each, all renewable on following year if necessary. As for “psychologists who want to practice outside these care courses”, they will be able “to continue to do so”, assured Emmanuel Macron.

With this measure, Emmanuel Macron says he has reached “a historic demand”. But he concedes that “the whole profession of psychologists is not completely thrilled”. Patrick-Ange Raoult, general secretary of the National Union of Psychologists (SNP), is up against the compulsory passage by a general practitioner to benefit from this package. “It is absolutely scandalous what we have just heard. It marks a deep contempt for our profession and the population,” he protested.

“Psychologists want to defend their independence vis-à-vis medicine,” said Laurent Laporte, of the CGT, during a rally in front of the Ministry of Health organized shortly before the presidential announcements. “We would like to be partners, we are not. They decide everything without us, with doctors,” abounds Christine Manuel, of the SNP.

>> To see: “Mental health and Covid-19: how to face the 3rd wave of psychiatry?”

Resources released for research

Emmanuel Macron also announced the creation of 800 positions in medico-psychological centers “from next year”. These reinforcements should make it possible to “reduce as much as possible the waiting times” in these structures, which are sometimes “longer than 18 months in the most stressed areas”. To this will be added the creation of 20 mobile teams for the care of the elderly in nursing homes and in medico-social structures, the establishment of a teenagers’ center in each department and 100 places in therapeutic family care in two years.

Another budgetary effort will be made in terms of research, with an envelope of 80 million euros “dedicated to mental health” within the framework of the fourth program of investments for the future (PIA4).

On Monday, the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, announced that the new national suicide prevention number would come into operation on Friday. And Tuesday, the Secretary of State for Children and Families, Adrien Taquet, promised the establishment in early 2022 of a systematic identification of post-partum depression, which would affect between 15 and 30% of mothers.

With AFP