3:11 p.m., September 10, 2022, amended to 4:18 p.m., September 10, 2022
On the occasion, Saturday, of the international day of prevention against suicide, the government organizes events and workshops all over France to present its devices. Camille Mohoric Faedi, co-founder of Manifeste Psy, a collective that brings together thousands of professionals in the sector, denounces the government’s policy of combating psychological ill-being, which it considers ineffective, even dangerous.
The latest studies have shown that adolescents are the population in which the proportion of suicides has increased the most. Why among young people in particular?
It’s linked to the two years of the pandemic. Adolescence is an age when we build ourselves through contact with others. By being stuck at home, without being able to lead a normal life, they no longer had the opportunity to build themselves. They questioned a lot the meaning of their life and of the world in which they were becoming adults. It was a break in their childhood, a moment of anguish of illness and death where they could not flourish.
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Did the government protect them enough?
During the pandemic, it was complicated. We then reasoned gropingly. But on the other hand, after the pandemic, the government did not take into account the psychological dimension. When he realized that there was a real mental health problem, instead of tackling the issue head-on by consulting the profession and the experts in the field, he decided to deal with it only at his head by creating devices that were not at all suitable.
What is this device?
The objective of the MonPsy system is to make access to psychologists easier and more equal by allowing consultations to be reimbursed by social security. It was not the right solution at all, but window dressing. A way to sweep the real issues under the rug.
The government promised free quality care, that’s a lie.
What is the problem?
First, they outsource care to liberals while public services are abandoned. The waiting lists are still long. Those who are waiting on these lists can never be taken care of by MonPsy because this service is reserved for people who have mild to moderate disorders. All people who have suicidal thoughts are excluded. Secondly, the government has redefined the framework for the care of the psychologists who participate in it. It is no longer all psychotherapy but psychological support. These are eight sessions of maximum 30 minutes followed by an evaluation. Nobody works like that. It is up to the professional to define the needs of the patient, not the government. The other problem is that to access the device, patients are forced to first go through a general practitioner. In addition to the fact that there are plenty of medical deserts, patients are obliged to first talk about their problems with a doctor. It’s their privacy, we don’t have to force it. And at the end of the treatment, the psychologist must report to the doctor, which is, again, absolutely contrary to medical secrecy. We are really touching on the essential points of the code of ethics.
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Did you participate in the scheme?
We really fought against it, notably by creating the boycott movement which was widely followed. There are very few psychologists who have signed up for the scheme. And those who are are not even clinical psychologists or psychotherapists. They are essentially work or social psychologists. This is why the government had to remove the word psychotherapy from the device and we are now talking about psychological support. He promised free quality care, that’s a lie. MonPsy has only created an accompaniment at a discount with a two-tier system. On the one hand, there are people who have the means and who pay for their consultation, those who do not have them and who are on the waiting list, and those who are referred to MonPsy and who are poorly taken care of.
We really fought against it, notably by creating the boycott movement which was widely followed.
The government has also set up a toll-free number…
The green number is a good initiative. It’s just that it can’t be the only solution for suicide prevention in France. You need to have behind the tools to allow quality therapeutic care in public services. Today you call 3114 and behind there is nothing. Anyway, if they call because they had suicidal thoughts, they are excluded from MonPsy. And even if they had had access to it, they would not have benefited from quality care. What shocks us terribly is that for this suicide prevention day, the government has only put forward this number. Everywhere in France, the events organized only concern this toll-free number. The question of the mental health of the French is addressed only with low cost devices. If that’s their vision of quality, we’re heading straight for the drift.
Within your collective, do you put forward solutions?
We have lots of ideas, we offered them, they told us it was like that and not otherwise. Already, we must stop the MonPsy device, which is a real masquerade and recreate something that is good for patients. For the moment, there is no question. What we are asking for is to put human and financial resources back into the public service. And if they don’t move the line, we will continue to boycott.
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