Eating disorders, refusal of school, depression … Faced with an increase in distress due to the covid crisis in children and adolescents, Emmanuel Macron announced on April 14 the establishment of a “psych package“. This will fully support ten psychologist sessions in town for children and adolescents from 3 to 17 years old.
Concretely, this package can be activated throughout the health crisis with partner psychologists and as part of a treatment path through any doctor, who will prescribe this emergency package.
“Today we have a health problem that affects our children and adolescents, which is added to the epidemic“, declared the Head of State visiting the child psychiatry department of the CHU de Reims.
Lock in and lack of social ties
In fact, four in ten parents said they had observed signs of distress in their child during the first confinement. Main reasons: the constraint of confinement and the absence of social relations linked to the closure of schools.
A distress which increases the demand for child psychiatry, saturating hospital services already in short supply. “The workforce should be doubled or even tripled“caregivers,” thus alerted Professor Anne-Catherine Rolland, head of the child psychiatry service at the University Hospital of Reims, specifying that requests for consultations had doubled since September.
To read also: “100% of the beds are occupied by adolescents in psychological suffering”
Eight months of waiting for an appointment
As a result, it now takes eight months to get an appointment, Reims only having two city child psychiatrists. “We’re tired, it’s never over, we’re in constant demand“, she told the head of state.
“They come for depression, eating disorders, school refusals“, she again testified.
31% of French people who are anxious or depressed
According to surveys conducted by Public Health France for a year, the proportion of French people reporting anxiety or depression has increased sharply since the first confinement. It has remained at a high level since, affecting nearly a third (31%) of the population.
At the beginning of March, the government issued “psych checks” to students. This system supports three 45-minute consultations with psychologists approved by the university health services.