Mental health networking

A psychological listening cell is the device created by the two mental health networks of the Alesian Basin (Gard) during the first confinement, in March 2020. There, as elsewhere, fear won over everyone and tested the most vulnerable, leading to withdrawal, or tensions, and for young people, early school leaving.

Accessible via a toll-free Red Cross number from late March to late June 2020, the listening unit consisted of liberal clinical psychologists, who could refer callers to support in the area. If it ended up serving only a few dozen people, “because regional and national numbers took over,” Noémi Bonifas Corriol, network coordinator, emphasized the adaptability of professionals who have been working together for more than a decade.

Networking

“Because we worked together before the Covid-19 pandemic, it was easier to preserve the essentials and support each other between professionals,” emphasizes Charly Carayon, child psychiatrist and founder of the link’s multi-institutional clinical network, of the infants , children and adolescents in the Alesian basin. Through spring 2020 video conference, health professionals and partners (social workers, associations, institutions, etc.) continued to share their views on patients to better treat and support them in their daily lives.

Clinical, multidisciplinary and multi-institutional meetings, around a “common mission”, explains Charly Carayon: “As a child psychiatrist I treat what is at the core of psychological suffering, a pathology of the connection with the other, but educators, teachers, social workers , etc., can also bond with the child and form an alliance to help him.”

At the height of the Covid-19 epidemic, everything else organized by the “link clinic” network – training meetings, colloquia with the world of arts and culture, or conferences intended for the general public – has been suspended. However, according to the associations, the less visible but real benefits of this networking have been felt more than ever. “This facilitates access to care, because health professionals have a different view of patients, understand them better and also guide them better,” said Céline Lemaistre, coordinator of the Mutual Help Group (GEM) L’Emeraude.30, an association of users. of psychiatry, who participate in the mental health network. “This makes it possible to address all unspoken issues, for example intimate issues or more than embarrassing behaviors that families usually don’t dare to talk to health professionals,” emphasizes Lyse Vannière, Gard delegate for theunafam

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Intimate problems, or those that at first glance seem unrelated to health, but which can be understood through collaboration between user associations and professionals, in the idea that supporting patients is also about their daily lives, housing, activities or even work . “It’s about bringing our complementarity into play: who can respond to what based on people’s needs? », observes Céline Lemaistre. A global approach to patients that is also the subject of workshops and conferences open to all, during the Mental Health Week, which is repeated every year. In November 2021 it was about “the right to privacy”.

These networks have led to innovative systems that have survived despite the health crisis. For example, since 2019 there have been two groups for the exchange and analysis of practices that bring together teachers and other members of the educational teams, from different colleges in the Alesian basin. About three times a year, a psychologist and a psycho-pedagogue from the Center médico-psycho-pédagogique (CMPP) du Gard conduct half-day sessions with the aim of improving practice, identifying situations of teenagers and jointly seeking answers to the difficulties encountered.

CLSM objective

In an industry undermined by the shortage of psychiatrists and tight budget constraints, nothing could have been done, and above all continued, without Reseda. Association for the coordination of health networks, under the umbrella of Alès Agglomeration and its public health service, “it relieves professionals of coordination, logistics, management, legal and accounting issues, reports of meetings, annual reviews or even setting up projects”, explains Noémi Bonifas Corriol, himself employed by Reseda.

His latest project: creating a Local Mental Health Council (CLSM) in the Alesian Basin. “Most of its missions are already carried out by the two mental health networks, but this would allow a framework chaired by an elected official, as requested by the regional health service, to better recognize the networks’ action and the the creation of a crisis unit”, argues the coordinator. According to her, the strong point of the CLSM is “the involvement of elected officials, who are increasingly confronted with questions in the field of mental health, for example when someone loses compensation in the middle of the street , or endangers himself”.

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