“Containment has a magnifying effect on the problems of young people”

Listening to the youth health thread, 11/18/20. – D. Bancaud / 20minutes

  • The activity of the youth health thread, a telephone platform * and a site supporting 12-25 year olds, has jumped since the start of the health crisis.
  • Young people confide in it their fear of the future, their financial worries, their feeling of loneliness, their eating disorders …
  • “20 Minutes” was able to meet the listeners who work there, as well as the Minister of Health and the Secretary of State in charge of Children and Families on site visit.

“Hello, hello, what can I do to help you? », Asks François, listening to the youth health thread, a telephone platform * and a site which support 12-25 year olds. A service that has existed for thirty-five years and which is multichannel to allow young people to find the most comfortable way for them to confide in themselves, whether orally or in writing.

During this second confinement, calls and messages from young people poured in. “Some feel uncomfortable. Many calls come from students who no longer have face-to-face lessons and suffer from isolation, ”notes Adrien Taquet, the Secretary of State for Children and Families, who visited the premises of the platform, with the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran.

“We receive 140 calls a day”

Since the start of the health crisis, the 30 listeners who work for the youth health sector have not been unemployed. “We receive 140 calls a day. They often arrive in the evening, after school, when young people can sit down, ”says Mirentxu Bacquerie, general manager of the youth health network. “In April, forum posts tripled from the previous month. And between June and August, 2,871 chats were made against 2,344 over the same period the year before. Because with the two confinements and the effects of the health crisis, the anxieties of young people are coming out, ”observes Anna, the coordinator of the youth health site.

Listening to the youth health thread, on 11/18/2020 in Paris. – D. Bancaud / 20minutes

“Isolation brings out anxieties that were buried. Containment has a magnifying effect on the problems. Because young people have more time to think about it. And some are depressed. I just had a student on the phone who told me about her inability to work, her difficulty in projecting herself into a better future. And during this second confinement, more young people evoke financial difficulties, ”says François, who is trained as a psychologist.

“We want to avoid a third wave, which would be a wave of mental health”

In the office next door, Lise also lends her ear to those who feel distressed: “The almost non-existent social life is very difficult to live at that age. I also collect testimonials from young women more often than usual who talk about their eating disorders ”. But young people also talk about their love stories, about contraception, about their fear of terrorism … And the word is freed all the more quickly as each one keeps his anonymity.

Still, not all of the young people who are doing badly call. “The average age of those who approach us is 19 years old. There are still too few college students to contact us, ”observes Pierre-Olivier Dufaix, head of the telephone service. “And yet it is fundamental to seek help when you need it. No young person should feel alone. We want to avoid a third wave, which would be a wave of mental health for young and old, ”insists Olivier Veran.

* The youth health thread crisis line receives calls from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on 0 800 235 236 (anonymous and free).

The filsantejeunes.com site allows you to ask questions, chat with other young people via a forum or chat with a listening adult.

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