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Gilles Baum

Making mental health a political priority

We are all suffering in this ongoing crisis. Uncertainty, existential fears and isolation have a negative impact on our lives. However, the pandemic is also a chance to shift our focus onto mental illnesses once more.

The taboo and stigma associated with mental illnesses make it hard for most people to talk about their problems. The DP wants to fight this issue strenuously. Nobody should have to feel ashamed for needing help. It is also, if not mainly, politics’ job to inform people and to sensitize them to prevent burnout, depression and suicide.  

In this context, DP group leader Gilles Baum called for an interpellation on the subject of suicide and mental health, which was debated in Parliament at the end of January. In his speech, Gilles Baum emphasized the importance of prevention and care. In particular, the lack of psychiatrists and the funding of therapies would be of concern.

The DP therefore aims to strengthen preventative measures and call for an improved treatment of the patients, by re-valuing the profession of the psychiatrist, i.e. through the remuneration of the stand-by duty for emergencies. The reimbursement of psychotherapy sessions is also long due and a convention with the CNS needs to be negotiated.

“We pay attention”

During the pandemic, the Minister of Education Claude Meisch placed particular emphasis on the health of children and adolescents. The 2020/2021 school year was very much about the campaign – “We pay attention. Well-being and opportunities for the future”, focusing on the prevention of violence and addiction, mental health, social media and sexual education. In high schools, the support teams for students with special needs (ESEB) are reinforced once again. In the future, a number of prevention programs of the Center for Psycho-Social and School Support (CePAS) will be launched to raise awareness among parents and teachers about this important subject.

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