This was announced by prime minister Xavier Bettel (DP) in his State of the Nation speech on 11 October. “With this plan, we want to help people of all age groups who suffer from a psychological problem. Mental health is still a taboo subject for many people. We want to break these taboos,” Bettel said in his address.
The plan had been promised for 2021 but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The latter had a “considerable impact” on the mental well-being of the Luxembourg population--especially youths and working adults. This was confirmed on 5 October by the OECD report evaluating the grand duchy’s response to covid-19.
Mixed reviews of mental health support
While the country managed the crisis well in general, more than one in three adults between 18 and 44 felt their mental well-being get worse, as did a third of children between 6 and 11, and 43% of teens between 12 and 16. In addition, the OECD reports that “today, one in three workers presents a risk of depression following the pandemic, and more than one in ten presents strong signs of depression.”
However, a report supported by the European Commission on 10 October said that Luxembourg has implemented policy measures in all six of the analysed fields: healthcare, education, information, youth work, leisure and sports. This, and shorter lockdowns than in the rest of the EU, led the report to positively assess the efforts made by the grand duchy to provide assistance to its residents.
Bettel wants reimbursement debate settled
In the meantime, Luxembourg’s psychotherapist federation Fapyslux and national health insurance provider CNS have refused to come to an agreement regarding the reimbursement of psychotherapy and psychology consultations, meaning that patients have to spend between €70 and €150 per session. “For many [patients], it is difficult to understand that they currently have to pay for this important medical treatment entirely out of their own pockets,” Bettel said.
“I call on all those involved to quickly agree on a good solution, so that psychotherapy is also covered by health insurance. We need a solution in the interest of the patient,” he concluded.
Delano has reached out to the ministry of health for further comment.