Burn out, depression, anxiety… how is the mental health of young people in Strasbourg?
11 mins read

Burn out, depression, anxiety… how is the mental health of young people in Strasbourg?

Looking into issues related to mental health, is this topical? If we are to believe the figures from the Ministry of Health and Prevention, the answer is clear: yes. With 13 million French people affected by mental illness and psychological disorders, the subject is emerging as a major societal issue. And the young people of Strasbourg in all this? Far from trying to draw up an exhaustive picture, we collected the testimonies of people concerned.

Public Health France draws a clear observation: that of an increase in depressive episodes in the country, mainly affecting young adults. Depression is one of the most widespread disorders and requires rigorous medical treatment.

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© Laurent Khram – Longvixay / Document submitted

However, it is not the only illness that affects young people. Whether it’s minor depressions, anxiety, sleep problems or even burnoutwe will be interested here in various and varied disorders – which, as we recall, can only be defined by a healthcare professional.

Moreover, some time ago, we asked you if you were concerned by these subjects. And several testimonies have reached us. They evoke the Covid crisis, changing views on professional life, anxiety-provoking news, risky behavior…

And if you are too lazy to read what follows but you need help, head to the end of this article to find several contacts who may prove useful!

apartment intimacy alone depressed loneliness gray student
© Maria Fernandes / Pokaa

“My body had completely failed me”

Julie* runs a small local business. In her early thirties, energetic and aware of these issues, she did not expect to be confronted with them. And yet. The company grew quickly, Julie quickly took on responsibilities and struggled by wearing several hats.

She describes a kind of frenzy which, when she calms down on her first vacation in ages, suddenly cuts off her legs: ” I’m doneI was hospitalized in a foreign country, my body had completely failed me. »

Burnout, sometimes repeatedly, depressive episodes, anxiety… work-related psychological suffering is a problem that does not stay in the office. Anna thus evokes repeated forgetting, fatigue, constant questioning of several things. Yanis notices sleep problems and repeated anxiety attacks: TrsoonI realize that something is wrong, without being able to identify itier. »

As for her, Julia quotes us pell-mell insecurity, fear of not integrating into professional life at the end of his studies, but also the violence and horror of the news on the international scene. This last point is noted several times among the testimonies!

docks spring sun
© Vivien Latuner / Pokaa

As we have said, given the figures, it is young people who are mainly affected. At the Strasbourg University Medical-Psychological Reception Center (CAMUS), the number of consultations with psychologists practically doubled between 2020 and 2023. A figure mainly due to the increase in support possibilities.

Doctor Aude Rochoux is director of the Student Health Service (SSE). She demonstrates the diversity of what brings students to her department or CAMUS: “What we see the most is stress, anxiety. But we also have depressive episodes, behavioral disorders, sometimes linked to addictive behaviors, problems adjusting to university, eating or sleeping disorders. »

Alexandre Dumas hotel high school
© Bastien Pietronave / Pokaa

To explain the increase in these episodes, Dr Rochoux remains cautious but suggests possible answers: “Covid has disrupted everyone and we are increasingly in an anxiety-provoking society. We are not all equal when it comes to stress. »

She also mentions economic factors with the increase in precariousness, a source of anxiety and several depressions; as well as the increase in multiple jobs/studies which can also lead to these problems.

Furthermore, in Strasbourg, a survey carried out between 2020 and 2021 found an increase in addictive behavior. Here again, we come up against each person’s differences: some will never become addicted and others can have a delirious puff with a firecracker. »

Covid was experienced differently depending on the students. He was able to create complex financial situations in families (…). In general, society is anxious. We didn’t ask ourselves any questions. It is often the future that poses a problem.

Dr Aude Rochoux, director of the SSE

“It’s not easy to find the right therapist”

The observation has been made, so how to react? According to Public Health France, young people aged 18-24 are less concerned about their mental health and well-being than their elders. Here again, Dr Rochoux sees it in the field: “ Students are taking risks. We have a student who is a little depressed, he will say to himself it’s not serious, it will be fine. »

gallia crous student precariousness
© Coraline Lafon / Pokaa

For Claire*, 27, it was the question of legitimacy that was difficult to address: LThe hardest part, for me, is consulting a doctor. As if I wasn’t legitimate enough, as if what I was experiencing wasn’t worse than what I was seeing in the news. »

For her part, Laure* fears, through the diagnosis, the consequences of it: ” He will influence my life, and there will be repercussions (…) Without the diagnosis, I can tell myself that one day it will disappear. »

Depression loneliness sadness
© Mathilde Piaud / Pokaa

When diagnosed with burnout in March 2021, Mélissa is followed by her general practitioner. Without much conviction and on the advice of the latter, she then saw a psychologist: “ I had seen a bit of it throughout my life and I had the impression that it was going to be of no use. »

Finally, she still sees her weekly, even three years later: It’s not easy to find the right therapist, the one with whom you match in terms of feeling and approach, but with her it was immediately the case. »

Finally, and on the advice of two other professionals, she completed her follow-up with a psychiatrist: “I experienced it as a monumental failure, but ultimately, I understood that today we no longer prescribed treatments like that, in the wind, that it was part of a real global process. » Mélissa suffered from depression in addition to her burnoutand was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

What tools are in place?

Faced with these problems, SSE teams support students in their premises. Some people come for an ordinary medical problem and it is during consultations carried out by nurses and general practitioners that psychological disorders may reveal themselves.

Doctor Rochoux also mentions the mutual assistance that can exist between teachers and health services, in cases where teachers alert his service following several concerns related to a person. Finally, students who feel the need can also contact the Camus directly.

campus students college esplanade university24
© Samuel Compion / Pokaa

To facilitate access to psychological support, the government has set up the system “My Psy Journey”. Effective since 2022, it allows reimbursement of eight sessions per year with an approved psychologist. However, the system is the subject of strong criticism from some of the professionals concerned.

Psychologist in Strasbourg, Emma points out the obligation of a medical prescription which can discourage certain patients and refer to “ a paramedicalization of (the) professionalsif we“. She also mentions the criteria for benefiting from the system (considered too restrictive): the low reimbursement ceiling (implying a reduction in consultation time or a division of fees) as well as the small number of sessions concerned.

To find out more about this device, click here!

campus students college esplanade university14
© Samuel Compion / Pokaa

And then there are those who transform the ordeal into a tool to serve others. Mélissa, who we talked about previously, felt the need to share her experience in her podcast Let’s Talk. Through this medium, she transmits what she would have liked to hear and tries to provide answers, insights or avenues for reflection.

Others provide help through associations. We mention here HelloDie: patients helping people affected by EDs (eating disorders). Founded by a Strasbourg resident directly concerned, the association aims to prevent and raise awareness around this crucial subject.


To find help, several mechanisms exist

Student Health Service (SSE): open Monday to Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Strasbourg medical-psychological reception center (Camus): make an appointment by telephone from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. or by email.

And because it happens that students find it easier to discuss their problems with their peers, other measures have been put in place:

  • Rescue relay students: There are around fifteen of them spread across the city’s campuses. Reachable by email and trained in various issues, they have the mission to listen, support, inform and guide studentsstudents in need. Contacts are available here!

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  • Relay students cited: the relay students mentioned are present in university campuses and are the point of contact in case of dark thoughts, anxiety, difficulties in studies or in personal life, etc. They are trained to listen, help and guide. Contacts are available here and on the My Résidence by Crous application, “Useful contacts” section
  • Addict relay students: addicto relay students are trained by the Ithaca association and the SSE. Their role is to support students in issues related to drug consumption and addiction. Contacts are available here and on Instagram.

A few more useful numbers:

  • National suicide prevention number: 3114 (24 hours a day)
  • Youth health line: 0 800 235 236 (9 a.m.-11 p.m.)
  • SOS friendship: 09 72 39 40 50 (24 hours a day)
  • Children-parents lighthouse: 01 43 46 00 62 (Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-5 p.m.)
  • Drugs info service: 0 800 23 13 13 (8 a.m.-12 p.m.)

As with any medical subject, you can also talk to your doctor about it.
In case of emergency, contact 15!


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