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Survey: half of Swiss are open to online psycho-therapy

In the foreground is a white door with a grey metal door handle. In the background can be seen two people sitting opposite each other.
Half of Swiss people see online therapy as an option to bridge waiting times for in-person treatment. Keystone / Christian Beutler

In a representative survey commissioned by health insurer Sanitas, 49% of Swiss people said they would describe online counselling as useful or very useful.  

According to the study by Intervista on behalf of Sanitas, published on Thursday, online services were seen by 50% as an option to bridge waiting times for in-person treatment with a therapist.

The most important thing was that online services should be offered by professionals with a recognised qualification, respondents indicated.

In contrast, the other half felt that online therapy lacked human contact, while online services not involving a specialist received the worst rating.

+ Read more: Swiss youths seek way out of mental health crisis

According to the survey, online mental health self-tests and digital support tools were also well received. Just under 50% of respondents could imagine using such services. 

Who should pay? 

Respondents were divided on the question of who should cover the costs of online counselling. Around a third felt that people should pay for it themselves. A further third said that the costs should be covered by supplementary health insurance, and the final third thought compulsory health insurance should cover the costs.  

Many are struggling with mental health in Switzerland. Specialist organisations have reported a sharp rise in demand for support services, especially among young people, and waiting times at surgeries and hospitals can range from weeks to months.  

The online survey was conducted in January 2024 across all Swiss language regions and was taken by 2,009 people. 

Adapted from German by DeepL/kp,dos 

This news story has been written and carefully fact-checked by an external editorial team. At SWI swissinfo.ch we select the most relevant news for an international audience and use automatic translation tools such as DeepL to translate it into English. Providing you with automatically translated news gives us the time to write more in-depth articles.

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