Why the “psych package” for children is lagging behind

DECRYPTION – Emmanuel Macron had promised the children ten free psychologist sessions to alleviate the suffering of the health crisis. The system suffers, however, from the lack of volunteer professionals.

Contrary to the advertisements, it will not be so easy to make your child benefit from the “Psychic Package”. This emergency device announced in mid-April by Emmanuel Macron promised “100% coverage of 10 psychological support sessions, without advance payment, including an initial interview and up to nine supported sessions.” But the package planned for the end of May has been delayed and is sorely lacking volunteer psychologists. According to the office of the Secretary of State in charge of children and families Adrien Taquet, cited by l’Express , alone “Around 300 psychologists” would be listed on the government platform a few days before the directory is online, now postponed to June 15.

“We called for a boycott”, confirms Gladys Mondière, co-president of the French Federation of Psychologists and Psychology (FFPP) “Of course, children have more troubles. It’s obvious. But they have to be taken care of properly. ” In a document intended for psychologists dating from May, the government details how children should be taken care of: an evaluation session lasting 45 minutes, then up to 9 sessions limited to 30 minutes. These sessions will be reimbursed to the psychologist up to 22 euros per consultation. “An industrial rhythm, according to Gladys Mondière. We are not going to work in the assembly line and send patients “. A real interview, she says, lasts between 45 minutes and 1 hour. “At 22 euros per session, with the various charges specific to liberal psychologists, that makes an hourly wage below the minimum wage”, she calculates.

On medical prescription

Another problem: the need for a first prescription by a general practitioner troubles professionals. “Patients do not always dare to share their moods with the doctor, and the latter are not all trained in mental disorders.», Deplores Servane Legrand, president of Anapsy.pe (national association of psychologists for early childhood). “Suffering in children, you have to know how to decode it. This worries us about prevention. ” Psychologists are ordered to give the doctor a report of the consultations at the end of the ten sessions. “All this supervision distorts our profession, continues Servane Legrand. We are professionals in the humanities, and they want to integrate psychology into a paramedical hierarchy. These are rules disconnected from the realities of the profession. ”

A heavy device

Psychologists decry a heavy device, including for patients. In fact, once the prescription has been received, they will have to go to the directory put online by the ministry, select a psychologist from among the 300 or so available, go to an initial assessment consultation … and return to the hospital. doctor to be prescribed a certain number of sessions. “Honestly, for the patient, it’s the obstacle course, storm Élodie Gabriel, psychologist in Paris. My patients have told me about this device. When I explained the procedure to them, they were discouraged. “

After Emmanuel Macron’s announcement in mid-April, Nathalie G, a psychologist in the Paris region, saw half a dozen patients tumbling into her office wishing to see their children finally benefit from reimbursed therapy. “It’s going to bottle up”, sighs Nathalie G, who has agreed to participate in the device “backwards». “I wanted to contribute to the war effort, with the conviction that it is window dressing, she fumed. The medico-psychological centers and medico-psycho-pedagogical centers are overwhelmed. The solidarity effort is blamed on the liberals, without any consultation. ”

An observation shared by Élodie Gabriel: “Free psychological care for children already exists – in psychological medical centers in particular. Each time, the government creates new measures, on an equal basis. ” She will not participate in the device. Even if she wanted to, she couldn’t: “I am overwhelmed with patients. The whole system is saturated. The epidemic crisis only revealed a crisis in child psychiatry that already existed, and the psych package will not change anything ”.

When contacted, the State Secretariat in charge of Children and Families did not answer our questions.

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