The guest – Mental health: action is urgently needed!

Léonore Porchet considers the current treatment of mental disorders insufficient.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been shaking up our lifestyles for almost a year. And that it abuses our sanity. Studies conducted by the Universities of Basel and Zurich show that levels of stress and anxiety have sharply increased in the population. The frequency of severe depressive symptoms has almost tripled.

This summer, the World Health Organization sounded the alarm bells and implored the authorities to urgently increase investment in mental health services to avoid a massive increase in mental health problems in the months to come. .

“The situation is critical. The current support is insufficient. “

In Switzerland, we will not have managed to escape it. Mental health professionals are seeing a sharp increase in referrals. The situation is critical. Current support is insufficient. And for good reason: only psychotherapies carried out by psychiatrists, or under their supervision, are reimbursed by basic insurance. Waiting times are very long to get an appointment.

What absurdity, when we know that psychotherapist psychologists are perfectly trained in the treatment of mental disorders. Especially since, the sooner psychotherapy begins, the shorter it will be, and the greater its chances of success.

Psychotherapy performed by psychotherapist psychologists must be reimbursed by basic insurance when prescribed by a doctor. This will allow Switzerland to sustainably improve the care of people with mental health problems.

In addition, better outpatient care will also reduce the costs associated with expensive hospital stays or the delivery of drugs. A study by the BASS Bureau estimates that the introduction of the prescription model will generate savings of 509 million francs per year.

Serious consequences

The other big absurdity of the current care is the regulation related to remote consultations. At a time when social contacts must be limited, the FOPH has however decided that only 360 minutes of remote psychotherapy would be covered by the basic insurance, per quarter and per patient, if they are carried out by a psychologist. who works in delegation.

Those 360 ​​minutes are used up in just six weeks in some cases. Thereafter, therapy should continue in the office or be interrupted, if patients cannot leave their homes because of their anxiety disorders or because they are in quarantine, for example. Interrupting treatment can have serious consequences, such as acute attacks and hospitalizations, or even suicide attempts.

The fate of the mental health of the population is now in the hands of the Federal Council, which alone has the power to change things. Let’s take action before the situation gets worse!

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