The numbers speak for themselves. According to a recent Ifop study, 30% of French people qualify their morale as “bad”, while they were 16% during the first confinement. In addition, almost half of French people (47%) find their life difficult to bear, while only 17% of Germans think the same. A situation acutely felt, particularly by young people: almost two-thirds of 18-25 year olds (61%) believe that the health crisis will have negative consequences on their mental health, according to another survey carried out by Ipsos for the FondaMental Foundation, a network of researchers on psychiatric illnesses. Spontaneously, nearly one in three young people (32%) say they are personally affected by at least one of the following disorders: depression, anorexia, obsessive-compulsive disorders, phobias or anxiety disorders.

A refund at the first euro

Beyond the health crisis, mental health is a major public health issue. To avoid the risk of non-recourse to care and limit inequalities in this area, the Mutualité Française offers reimbursement for consultations with a psychologist. In practice, coverage by mutuals provides for:

  • prior referral of the patient by a doctor
  • a minimum of 4 reimbursed sessions per year;
  • reimbursement capped at € 60 per session.

This measure concerns people covered by a complementary health insurance contract, individual or group. It applies to consultations that will take place between March 22 and December 31, 2021. The implementation of this new system, as well as the practical reimbursement methods are currently the subject of discussions with the various professional organizations concerned (representatives psychologists and other health supplement management organizations). Finally, an evaluation of this new measure will take place at the end of the year.

An old concern

Mutuals of the French Mutuality did not wait for the health crisis to invest in the field of mental health. First of all, nearly a quarter of mutual insurance contracts already include reimbursement for consultations with psychologists. Then, mutual institutions and services offer a wide range of interventions (see box). In addition, many mutuals implement preventive actions that contribute to well-being and promote more fulfilling mental health. These are aimed at a wide variety of audiences: retirees, high school students or the working to help them overcome stress or depression. Finally, actions aimed at family carers, in the form of a “caregivers’ café” are also offered.

Mental health: mutual institutions and services

Mutuals manage numerous establishments and specialized mental health services spread across the country:

  • 22 health centers offering consultations with psychiatrists and psychologists.
  • 11 mental health establishments (full hospitalization, day hospital, outpatient center, medico-psycho-pedagogical center, specialist consultation).
  • 1 specific support system (DAS) for adults with mental disabilities.
  • 5 reception residences (individual accommodation with social and health support).
  • 1 nursing home specializing in the reception of people suffering from mental disorders.
  • 2 support and prevention care centers in addictology.
  • 1 post-treatment and rehabilitation facility (SSR) specializing in addictology.
  • 1 department of adolescent and young adult psychiatry. 1 House of adolescents.

Read the press release: La Mutualité Française offers support for consultations with psychologists