The ministry is concretely committed to the mental health of students
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The ministry is concretely committed to the mental health of students

The Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal, recalled this during his general policy declaration, Tuesday January 30, 2024: the mental health of young people must be the subject of reinforced care.

Thus, the Government’s efforts in terms of psychological support will be continued and the public policies already deployed will be strengthened.

“Depression and suicidal thoughts have increased significantly among our young people. I want to make mental health a major cause of our government action.” @GabrielAttal

After the deployment of the Cnaé, we will continue to support students who need it.

— Sylvie Retailleau (@sretailleau) January 30, 2024

The Cnaé platform

Guiding students in situations of discomfort

Launched in December 2023 by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, the National coordination of support for students (Cnaé) is a free and confidential platform for listening, support, information and reporting. This is a reference point of contact for all students experiencing discomfort or having been confronted with violent or discriminatory situations.

A professional helpline, entrusted to the “En Avant Tous” association, is offered to all students who are looking for concrete help without necessarily knowing who to contact first.

The Cnaé relies on the expertise of psychologists and social workers who listen to students with kindness and direct them towards more in-depth and appropriate support based on the problems expressed.

A student who is feeling unwell must find the support they need.

To better strengthen the management of student mental health, @sup_recherche threw #Cnaéa free and confidential listening platform.

I went to meet its actors.

— Sylvie Retailleau (@sretailleau) January 19, 2024

The platform Cnaé can be reached on 0 800 737 800 and open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays, or by email at the following address:

Cnaé in facts

In January 2024, one month after its activation, the Cnaé has already made it possible to support a certain number of students and provide concrete follow-up to situations of discomfort exposed to respondents.

  • 171 referrals received in January
  • 79% of referrals were telephone calls
  • Significantly more women than men called
  • 6 situations were reported, at the request of students

To date, all of the calls carry on situations that have caused psychological suffering. This psychological suffering, for a majority of callers, is linked to social or financial problems: romantic, sexual, friendly relationships, for 10% of calls. Situations linked to gender-based and sexual violence, discrimination or harassment represent 14% of calls. Isolation as the main cause of discomfort is at the origin of 9% of calls. Finally, the progress of the studies accounts for 5% of the total calls.

At the end of the exchanges between the Cnaé professionals and the students, the latter were oriented towards more specialized systems adapted to their situation and the expression of their needs. Thus, in 90% of cases, students were able to be directed, depending on their profiles, to Santé Psy Étudiant, a local medical-psychological center (CMP), a university psychological assistance office (BAPU), a student health (SSE) or a specialized association: Information Center on the Rights of Women and Families (CIDFF), Family Planning, etc.

Moreover, the listening units of higher education establishments are systematically indicated to people who wish to report facts, in particular when they are victims of gender-based and sexual violence and/or discrimination, which corresponds to 10% of calls received.

Health Psy Student

Set up in 2021 at the height of the Covid-19 crisis to quickly respond to situations of psychological distress, Santé Psy Étudiant allows all students who wish to do so to seek help from a psychologist partner of the system. Students can benefit from eight free sessions, without advance costs and renewable.

What is the approach?

  1. Students consult their Student Health Service (SSE) or their general practitioner, who gives them an orientation letter, giving them the right to free sessions with the psychologist.
  2. Students can then choose a psychologist from the list of professional partners of the system.
  3. Students make an appointment with the chosen psychologist.

Some numbers

Student Psy Health, since 2021, it is:

In 2023, the Ministry of Higher Education and Research announced the sustainability of the system. Launched in 2021 to respond to an emergency situation, Santé Psy Étudiant is now an integral part of the services available to students. Thus, the sessions are renewable each year for all students.

Access the Student Psy Health website

Student Health Services

An ambitious reform that integrates mental health issues

In 2023, University Preventive Medicine and Health Promotion Services (SUMPPS) became Student Health Services (SSE). The challenge of this reform was to respond to the changing health needs of higher education students.

Among the developments introduced by this reform, all students now have access to Health Services studentwhether or not they are enrolled in university, from public or private higher education.

The reform of Student Health Services made it possible to strengthen and expand their missions, in particular by creating a health mission mental. These developments were implemented in consultation with health and student life stakeholders (Ministry of Labor, Health and Solidarity, establishment conferences, medical directors of services, National Health Insurance Fund, Cnous, Agencies regional health authorities, MILDECA, student representatives).

More than 8 million euros have been invested to strengthen Student Health Services, in particular by recruiting health professionals, key contacts for students on their campuses.

Student Health Services in 2022


Mental health by and for students

Nightline is an association supported by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research. A specialist in mental health issues, she offers students helplines as well as a chat.

Led by a salaried team, it trains volunteers in active listening. All respondents are students trained by the association, and the discussions are confidential, non-judgmental and non-directive. Calls are free.

Good evening, Nightline here, I’m listening to you. Good evening. I’m calling you, I don’t know why I called. It’s like I’m having a really hard time breathing, like I’m out of breath. I start to see everything negatively. I tell myself that I will fail my exam, my license will be finished. I put so much pressure on myself to succeed, behind me I have my parents…

I just arrived. I do not know anybody. I have trouble creating connections, I find myself alone. Just now, I was walking around the faculty, I had the impression that everyone was looking at me and making fun of me. You told me about a panic last time. How did it manifest itself in you? Would you like me to introduce you to the service? Yes I want. We have four main principles which are: anonymity, confidentiality, non-judgment and non-directivity, that is to say that everything that is exchanged between us will not be repeated, even to other volunteers in the group. ‘association.

Feel free to speak what is on your heart.

The association also develops numerous awareness and information tools: a directory which lists psychological support systems for students, the life kit, so that everyone can tackle mental health issues, the initiative Head first, which proposes to explore the links between sport, physical activity, and mental health or the Sentinel program, which allows students to support their peers.

Nightline in a few figures

  • In 2023, a grant of €90,000 awarded by the ministry
  • 7,200 calls handled by the association
  • 326 awareness actions
  • 28,000 young people met during mental health prevention actions
  • More than 200 students trained in suicide prevention through the Sentinel program

Other initiatives supported by the ministry

The Ministry of Higher Education and Research participates in the deployment of innovative systems and forms partnerships with mental health stakeholders in the territories.

Thus, more than 5,000 mental health first aiders have been trained in the student environment and since 2023, the MESR provides financial support to the association Say I am there.

Furthermore, the ministry actively supports several research programs: we can cite Elioswhich aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the use of social networks in the prevention of suicide among young people or the future program Mentalosupported by Inserm.

Did you know ? The Crous also offer an anonymous and free psychological support and listening line. Psychologists can be reached 24/7 on 0800 73 08 15.

The 3114

A long-term collaboration is maintained with 3114, national reference in suicide prevention, set up by the Ministry of Labor, Health and Solidarity.

Reachable 24/7, in mainland France and overseas, this telephone number allows you to speak with a nurse or psychologist. The people on the other end of the line are specially trained in suicide prevention.

Focus on BAPU

Finally, students can contact the University Psychological Assistance Offices (BAPU). Accessible in most university towns, BAPUs are made up of psychotherapists (psychiatrists and psychologists), social workers and an administrative service.

The consultations offered by the BAPU are 100% covered by Social Security and mutual insurance companies. There is no advance fee for students who request this assistance. The number of sessions is not limited, monitoring is provided as long as the students feel the need.

Learn more about BAPU

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