France to Offer Free Counseling for Children Affected by COVID-19 Pandemic

France will offer free psychological counseling sessions for children and adolescents with mental health difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, President Emmanuel Macron announced on April 14.

Macron announced after a meeting with patients and psychologists at the Reims University Hospital that those aged between three and 17 and have a doctor’s prescription will be entitled to 10 free therapy sessions with a psychologist for the duration of the pandemic.

“Behind the epidemic, there is a hidden continent: the suffering of the youngest. To support them, we are going to launch the 100% child psychologist package to allow them to consult a psychologist free of charge,” Macron stated on Twitter.

Macron said that cases of psychological problems, including anxiety, had increased among the youth during the first lockdown last year.

Macron said that the closure of schools and out-of-school activities were “very traumatic for our young people.”

France is currently in a third lockdown in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, France has recorded over 5.1 million cases and over 99,000 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

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