“From babies to the elderly, making mental health the great national post-crisis cause”

Tribune. Stress, depression, anxiety, emotional and psychological disorders: so many consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. All populations, social classes, age groups are impacted: babies, young people, fathers, mothers, workers, elderly people, in particular isolated people, patients stricken by Covid, not to mention people with pre-existing mental disorders who have been able to benefit from homogeneous monitoring during the crisis.

These consequences on the psyche are now better known although to study in the medium term. This knowledge, as well as the needs and expectations of our citizens, lead us to imagine ambitious and targeted responses, which would involve all public and private health actors, not only caregivers, but also decision-makers in the fields of housing, employment, education, physical, sporting and cultural activities.

By limiting meetings, travel, leisure, social interactions, by modifying the work-life balance, the pandemic has taken its toll. Studies are multiplying which make it possible to better understand, evaluate, react … and think about the future.

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The last studies available are without appeal: anxiety and depressive states are maintained at high levels. The deterioration of sleep, the drop in the level of life satisfaction, the increase in suicidal thoughts coincide with the increase in the consumption of psychotropic drugs, a clear indicator of this general weakening.

Tracking and taking charge

While many elements suggest that this pandemic will have long-term and transgenerational repercussions, women and men politicians should agree, beyond traditional cleavages, to fight against the degradation of the mental health of our country the great national cause after the crisis, the basis of a comprehensive intergenerational and local health policy. And, beyond incantatory formulas and even announcements, radically renovate mental health and French psychiatry.

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The pandemic has confirmed, in the field of mental health, as in that of global health of which it is a part, the importance of the identification and early management of mental disorders, in particular by mobilizing systems of remote assistance hitherto underemployed. Caregivers and their administrations got involved in a context of disastrous lack of preparation. Let us change the timescale and do not forget that the upheavals in progress must be studied over time with the help of the human and social sciences.

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