France to offer free therapy for children affected by COVID

Published April 15, 2021, 6:22 AM

by Agence-France-Presse

President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday announced that France would offer free therapy sessions with a psychologist for children and adolescents whose mental health has been hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks with a child as he visits a child psychiatry department in a hospital in Reims, northern France on April 14, 2021, to discuss the psychological impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and the impact of the lockdown on children and teenagers in France. (Photo by CHRISTIAN HARTMANN / POOL / AFP)

France’s social security system will fully reimburse a total of 10 sessions with a psychologist for children aged between three and 17, Macron said on a visit to a psychiatric treatment centre in the city of Reims.  

“We have today a health problem that is affecting our children and adolescents and that is adding to the epidemic,” he said after meeting both patients and psychologists.

Macron said that cases of anxiety and other psychological problems had been increasing among young people in a way that had not been seen during the first lockdown against COVID-19 last year.

France is currently in a third nationwide lockdown to fight COVID, although the restrictions are far more limited than in the previous two shutdowns.

The country kept its schools open much longer than other European neighbours during the second and third virus waves although it has effectively now extended the spring holidays to keep a lid on a jump in cases.