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Covid: Overburdened psychologists are turning away patients

Almost half of psychologists said Covid-19 and the containment measures had aggravated the symptoms of existing patients and clients Keystone

Mental health is particularly at risk in times of crisis. Demand for counselling and therapy has risen sharply during the Covid-19 pandemic since the summer, according to a survey of 1,300 Swiss psychologists.

This content was published on November 3, 2020 - 13:48
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More than 70% said they had already been forced to refuse patients or clients because of a lack of capacity, the Swiss Federation of Psychologists said in a statementExternal link on Tuesday. Almost half (46%) said demand for psychological therapy or counselling had increased since the summer due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its consequences.

What’s more, 31% of psychologists mentioned new pathologies linked to the pandemic. “We’re talking here partly about people who were already suffering from psychological problems and for whom the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown triggered the need for professional help,” said Yvik Adler, the federation’s co-president.

Of the psychologists surveyed, 47% said Covid-19 and the containment measures had aggravated the symptoms of existing patients and clients.

The federation said it was concerned about the situation. “Today problems already exist in the field of mental health. In rural areas and where children and adolescents are concerned, patients often have to wait up to six months for outpatient therapy,” Adler said.

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