French President Emmanuel Macron has announced that the state will fund psychology appointments in the country starting next year.
Speaking about the policy on Tuesday, President Macron acknowledged the psychological impact of government Covid restrictions, as well as past failures to make mental health a priority.
President Macron announced several measures during a conference with professionals who work in the sector.
As the coronavirus proliferated across France, “we didn't want to see the importance of mental health, and we got hit in the face with the fact that health is all-encompassing,” Macron said. “The consequences of the pandemic are just as tangible in mental health” as in physical health.
He highlighted a spike in the number of children seeking psychological treatment, as well as a growing number of attempted suicides, notably among teenagers. According to President Macron, around 20% of French people suffer from depression,
Under the new plans, free therapy sessions for children and young adults -- which were announced earlier this year -- will be extended to everyone with a doctor’s prescription. Psychiatric treatment is already largely reimbursed by the state.
State healthcare systems in Britain, Germany and some other countries already fund therapy sessions. French health professionals say a national effort to improve access is long overdue, especially as the coronavirus pandemic has caused and aggravated psychological distress.
*Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay